News Flash

Sheriff's Office

Posted on: March 28, 2022

Three arrested for child endangerment

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On March 27, 2022, at about 8:36 a.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy on patrol in the Blue Lake area conducted an investigation on an occupied vehicle parked in the parking lot of a business on the 700 block of Casino Way. Upon approaching the vehicle, the deputy observed an adult male passed out in the front seat of the vehicle, with a juvenile asleep in the back seat.

The deputy awoke the male driver, 31-year-old Jared Dwayne Downs, and learned that the juvenile’s parents were inside the business. During the investigation, the deputy also learned that Downs was in possession of a controlled substance.

During a search of Downs’ belongings, deputies located approximately 20.6 grams of suspected Fentanyl, 5.2 grams of methamphetamine and various drug paraphernalia.

While investigating, deputies were contacted by an additional male, 39-year-old Ajay Wesley Lawson, who identified himself as the juvenile’s father. Following this contact, deputies conducted a search of the entire vehicle, locating a large amount of drug paraphernalia, including numerous used hypodermic needles and items containing residue of suspected heroin.

The juvenile’s mother, 38-year-old Brandi Marie Gunther, was located inside the business and was taken into custody.

Downs was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of child endangerment (PC 273a(a)), possession of a narcotic controlled substance (HS 11350(a)) and possession of a controlled substance (HS 11377(a)).

Lawson was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of child endangerment (PC 273a(a)) and possession of a controlled substance paraphernalia (HS 11364(a)).

Gunther was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of child endangerment (PC 273a(a)) and possession of a controlled substance paraphernalia (HS 11364(a)).

The juvenile was placed in safe custody.

Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

downs booking photoJared Dwayne Downs Booking Photo 
Humboldt County Correctional Facility 
lawson booking photoAjay Wesley Lawson Booking Photo 
Humboldt County Correctional Facility 
gunther booking photoBrandi Marie Gunther Booking Photo 
Humboldt County Correctional Facility 


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