MOSES LAKE — A Ritzville man who claimed drug paraphernalia that was spotted in the vehicle he was driving wasn’t his was sentenced to a 20-day jail stint this week.
Taylor Hermsmeier-Rogers, 23, of Ritzville, pleaded guilty in Grant County Superior Court to possession of a controlled substance and was ordered to serve 20 days in jail. The court ruled Hermsmeier-Rogers can serve his sentence, if eligible and approved, in partial confinement via Electronic Home Monitoring (EHM). Court documents state Hermsmeier-Rogers must have EHM set up by Oct. 29, with a court hearing scheduled for Oct. 30 to ensure he is set up with EHM.
In early October 2017 the Moses Lake Police Department received a report of a suspicious passenger vehicle parking near the exit doors at WinCo Foods. When police arrived the vehicle was running and the driver, Hermsmeier-Rogers, was leaning back and “appeared” to be asleep. Hermsmeier-Rogers’s female passenger was slumped over and leaning to her right, almost hanging out of the vehicle with the passenger side door open. A MLPD officer observed drug paraphernalia near Hermsmeier-Rogers’ feet in the car and police proceeded to wake him up.
Hermsmeier-Rogers exited the vehicle and claimed he lived in Ritzville and was attempting to take a nap before he made the long trip home. Upon questioning by police Hermsmeier-Rogers admitted there were heroin tudors, which are used to consume the drug, and tin foil, also used to ingest drugs, inside of the vehicle.
“Hermsmeier went on to explain that the vehicle was not his and he did know the paraphernalia was inside the vehicle but that it did not belong to him. Hermsmeier advised many people drive the vehicle,” wrote an MLPD officer. “Hermsmeier advised he knew that (the female he was with) uses heroin and used heroin inside the vehicle. Hermsmeier advised there was only tudors in the vehicle due to (the female) ingesting all the heroin.”
Hermsmeier-Rogers later admitted to being a heroin user and police went on to find heroin and 10 Hydrocodone pills in his pockets. Police obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and recovered several smoking devices, heroin, methamphetamine and a scale with a brownish residue on it.
Hermsmeier-Rogers was in the news recently after he was shot in the Larson community in late-August. In that case Hermsmeier-Rogers told investigators he was attempting to purchase a vehicle and drove with a woman to a residence in Larson, where, he claimed, he was accosted by several people and ultimately shot in the abdomen by one of the assailants.
Richard Byrd can be reached via email at email@example.com.