Steamboat arrest sheds light on prescription drug epidemic
February 7, 2017
Steamboat Springs — A recent arrest helps further illustrate the inner workings of a prescription drug epidemic that is killing people in Routt County.
Steamboat Springs resident Charles "Chaz" L. Kavovit, 37, was arrested Friday on suspicion of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. His bond was set at $10,000.
The arrest was the result of an investigation that was initiated by the Steamboat Springs Police Department in late December. According to an arrest affidavit, police held off on arresting Kavovit because he was part of open investigations where he had been implicated in selling prescription drugs or other unknown narcotics, which have lead to overdoses.
On Dec. 24, a woman reached out to police and said she had evidence that Kavovit had sold prescription medications to her 32-year-old boyfriend, and her boyfriend had been taken to the emergency room Dec. 21 after he began acting strange and collapsed at work.
The woman told police she knew her boyfriend and Kavovit were friends, but she did not know Kavovit was selling him drugs, according to the affidavit.
The woman met with police and showed them text messages between herself and Kavovit. Police included the text messages in Kavovit's arrest affidavit.
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"No hard feelings against you, but (my boyfriend) almost overdosed on the stuff he got from you last night," the woman text messaged to Kavovit.
Kavovit responded with concern and asked if the boyfriend was OK.
"I'm glad he's ok but when I sent him a text I old (told) him everyone can only take 1," Kavovit texted back. "If people don't listen to me that stuff happens."
Kavovit wrote that he tries to keep his "friends safe," but he himself overdosed a couple weeks earlier.
"Thought I was taking a xany (Xanax) bar and it ended up being fentanyl and I was done," Kavovit wrote. "Lips turned blue, had to get rushed to er."
Kavovit wrote he was trying to help people stay away from the "dirty heroine going around town."
"I care about my friends health and well being, and thats why I don't get it when people ask for it," Kavovit wrote. "It's a death sentence. But now even these things I'm afraid to deal with. They're getting so good at making the fake ones look like real ones…"
On Dec. 23, the woman sent a text to Kavovit saying her boyfriend was "not really bouncing back" and is still acting like he's "under water."
Kavovit texted back that it could take a good week to feel normal after an overdose.
The boyfriend was taken to urgent care because he was stumbling around and had slurred speech. An MRI test was planned.
"What you gave him was not just one thing," the woman wrote to Kavovit. "It was a really bad cocktail in one pill."
Kavovit responded that he knew other people who had taken the same pills and no one had issues.
"I wonder if he took some and didn't feel it then took more before it kicked in," Kavovit wrote. "I'm so done helping people with this stuff. I get calls from friends and I hate saying no. Things r changing though. No more (expletive) around with this stuff. People r gonna have to find it elsewhere."
The woman asked the man to take her boyfriend off his client list.
"This is killinh him," the woman wrote. "If you care for him, please don't respond about purchases. He's lost control. I think he took something yesterday after all we went through in the ER which is nuts."
Kavovit wrote that he would cut off the boyfriend because he did not want to watch a friend die.
"No addict wants to be an addict," Kavovit wrote. "It's the only way they feel normal is when they're on drugs. It's a tough thing to comprehend to someone who isn't an addict but it's the way it works."
On Dec. 24, the woman wrote to Kavovit saying she had read text messages from the previous night between Kavovit and her boyfriend.
"You lied to me," she wrote. "I'm going to report you."