Jared Hickman, age 19, was recently ordered to 364 days jail time and the completion of a substance abuse program and treatment following three category E felony possession of controlled substance charges.

Hickman told the court that he had also been through the juvenile drug court program but this is his first adult felony.

“Mr. Hickman wants to be able to get his life on track, he’s still very young, has been participating in pretrial services,” said Humboldt County Public Defender Matthew Stermitz. “He needs to be able to put his life back together is the best way to put it.” 

Sixth Judicial District Court Judge Michael Montero said that concerns with allowing Hickman to enter the program are due to the non-typical possession type, in which he was in possession of methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl, LSD, THC, ecstasy, alprazolam and psilocybin mushrooms. 

“This is a problem and we’re in this problem between what you’ve been charged with and what you’ve pled guilty to versus what I see on paper as the extent of the drug problem,” said Montero. “I’m genuinely concerned that if I mixy you with the drug court population that this is a recipe for disaster.” 

Montero said that although he has concerns about Hickman entering the program, his hands are tied by the recently implemented law that a court must defer judgment on a category E felony with no criminal history. 

“He has never had a job, lives at home, his mother supports all his financial needs, it’s time for him to grow up,” said Deputy District Attorney Kevin Pasquale. “He needs to learn how to be a man and drug court can help him with that and other requirements.”

Hickman was ordered to a deferred sentence and 18 months of probation with a condition that he spend 364 days in jail to begin immediately. 

“I’ve been addicted to drugs since I was young and I’ve never really had a job, that’s one of the things I’m looking forward to if I get accepted,” said Hickman. “I have anxiety so I haven’t been able to apply for that many places, I’m just looking for structure and help staying clean.” 

He must obtain a substance abuse evaluation at his own expense and mental health evaluation and enter into the recommended treatment program, including an inpatient treatment program, if recommended.

Hickman was ordered to pay a $25 administrative assessment and $3 DNA collection fee and as a condition of probation, he may only use the internet for school and work and he must avoid consumption or purchase of all controlled substances, including alcohol and marijuana and must not physically be present in any bars, liquor stores, dispensaries, casinos, etc. for the duration of probation. 

If Hickman fails to comply with the terms of probation, the diversion program can be rescinded by the court and he would be sentenced on the charges.