Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations
Note: Video of the news conference is available at https://www.facebook.com/VolusiaSheriff/videos/1839820889390438/
DRUG DEALER INDICTED ON CHARGE OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN DEATH OF OVERDOSE VICTIM
Today, a Volusia County grand jury returned an indictment charging a drug dealer with first-degree murder in the death of a 34-year-old Deltona mother who overdosed in October 2017.
The defendant, 31-year-old Steve Montilla (DOB 5/15/1986) of Sanford, has been behind bars since the week of the victim’s death. That’s because Volusia County sheriff’s detectives who responded to the overdose immediately started working to track down her dealer – and then conducted a buy-bust operation that resulted in Montilla’s arrest on drug trafficking charges.
Montilla was recently sentenced to 39 months in state prison for trafficking heroin and related crimes.
Today’s grand jury decision is the first murder indictment of a drug dealer responsible for an overdose investigated by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, which is treating all fatal overdose cases with a similar approach – identify the dealer as soon as possible and hold him or her accountable for the victim’s death.
“In every case we can, we’re going to go after these scumbags who are slinging poison on our streets,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said Monday. “We’re going to put them behind bars where they belong, where they can’t end the life of another person addicted to their deadly product.”
The victim, Jacqueline Griggs of Parkview Court in Deltona, was the single mother of a little girl who was 3 years old on Oct. 21, 2017, the date of Griggs’ overdose. Griggs’ family discovered her unresponsive in the master bathroom around 9:30 p.m. that night. Responding deputies tried to revive Griggs using Narcan nasal spray, but she showed no signs of life. She was pronounced dead minutes later. A partially full syringe was found next to her body. Another syringe and baggies of white powder where on the bathroom countertop. The powder tested positive for the presence of fentanyl.
Detectives immediately took possession of Griggs’ cell phone to begin an investigation. A recent text message led them to Montilla, whose criminal history included numerous arrests on drug charges, including trafficking in cocaine. Around 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 22, a detective sent Montilla a text from Griggs’ phone stating: “the h was good… u got some more I can get later?” About 6 minutes later, Montilla responded to set up a transaction.
That transaction was set for around 12:30 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Publix parking lot at 605 Courtland Blvd. Detectives arrested Montilla there and found several plastic bags containing heroin or heroin residue, along with a digital scale, cash and the cell phone that was used to exchange text messages with Griggs’ phone.
With Montilla already in prison on his previous drug charges, his murder case now goes to the State Attorney’s Office for prosecution. “The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office did a great job with this investigation, as usual,” said State Attorney R.J. Larizza’s spokesman Bryan Shorstein, who attended Monday’s news conference announcing the indictment, along with members of the VCSO Investigative Services Section.
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151