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‘It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine’; Claremont Man Pleads Guilty to Charges From February Standoff

  • Anthony Jarvis takes a moment to say goodbye to his wife, Angel Jarvis, after being sentenced in Sullivan County Superior Court in Newport yesterday. Jarvis pleaded guilty to drug charges including destroying evidence stemming from a February incident when a probation officer and Claremont police came to his home to execute a search based on an anonymous tip. Jarvis’ attorney, Bob Morgan, is at right. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)

    Anthony Jarvis takes a moment to say goodbye to his wife, Angel Jarvis, after being sentenced in Sullivan County Superior Court in Newport yesterday. Jarvis pleaded guilty to drug charges including destroying evidence stemming from a February incident when a probation officer and Claremont police came to his home to execute a search based on an anonymous tip. Jarvis’ attorney, Bob Morgan, is at right. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Anthony Jarvis listens to his a relative speak in his favor during a sentencing hearing in Sullivan County Superior Court in Newport yeterday. Jarvis pleaded guilty to drug charges stemming from a standoff with police in February. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)

    Anthony Jarvis listens to his a relative speak in his favor during a sentencing hearing in Sullivan County Superior Court in Newport yeterday. Jarvis pleaded guilty to drug charges stemming from a standoff with police in February. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Anthony Jarvis listens to his a relative speak in his favor during a sentencing hearing in Sullivan County Superior Court in Newport yeterday. Jarvis pleaded guilty to drug charges stemming from a standoff with police in February. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)

    Anthony Jarvis listens to his a relative speak in his favor during a sentencing hearing in Sullivan County Superior Court in Newport yeterday. Jarvis pleaded guilty to drug charges stemming from a standoff with police in February. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Anthony Jarvis takes a moment to say goodbye to his wife, Angel Jarvis, after being sentenced in Sullivan County Superior Court in Newport yesterday. Jarvis pleaded guilty to drug charges including destroying evidence stemming from a February incident when a probation officer and Claremont police came to his home to execute a search based on an anonymous tip. Jarvis’ attorney, Bob Morgan, is at right. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)
  • Anthony Jarvis listens to his a relative speak in his favor during a sentencing hearing in Sullivan County Superior Court in Newport yeterday. Jarvis pleaded guilty to drug charges stemming from a standoff with police in February. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)
  • Anthony Jarvis listens to his a relative speak in his favor during a sentencing hearing in Sullivan County Superior Court in Newport yeterday. Jarvis pleaded guilty to drug charges stemming from a standoff with police in February. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)

Newport By the time Anthony Jarvis finished serving his prison sentence last September, he had a drug habit, fueled by the ready availability of opiates behind bars. And once he was free, Jarvis quickly turned to selling marijuana as a way to pay for his drug habit, his lawyer said yesterday.

What happened next shouldn’t come as a surprise: the father of two young children was sent back to New Hampshire State Prison yesterday for three to six years, after pleading guilty on charges that police found drugs in his Claremont home after he engaged them in a brief standoff in February.

“It’s nobody’s fault but mine,” Jarvis, 34, acknowledged yesterday while wearing hunter green prison garb at his sentencing hearing in Sullivan County Superior Court. During the session family members, acquaintances and even the prosecutor stressed that, despite his extensive criminal record, Jarvis has much to recommend him.

“As serious as the defendant’s (record is), he also has redeeming qualities,” Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway said in court. “He is a devoted family man. He spends a tremendous amount of family time with his children. We think it is an appropriate balance between the need to respond to the bad behavior. ... We hope he gets that (addiction) under control and comes home and has a productive life.”

Jarvis pleaded guilty to four charges — two counts of falsifying evidence, one count of drug possession with the intent to sell, and one count of steroid possession — and will be eligible for release in late 2016.

Hathaway said yesterday that the investigation began when Jarvis’s probation officers received a tip that he was dealing cocaine, and showed up at his residence to search the house and his car.

When the officers arrived, Jarvis locked himself inside and yelled that he was going to shoot himself. Officers pulled back and soon saw smoke pouring from the chimney, and detected the odor of burnt marijuana.

Not long after, Jarvis surrendered to Claremont Police Chief Alex Scott, and shortly after being taken into custody admitted to Scott that he was hooked on drugs in violation of his probation. When police entered Jarvis’ home, they found marijuana and remnants of the steroid testosterone.

“He had a significant addiction to prescription pills and he funded the addiction through the sale of marijuana,” Jarvis told Scott, according to Hathaway in court yesterday.

Police did not find any cocaine or guns inside the home.

Before the February incident, Jarvis had been out of prison for only about five months. In 2009, Jarvis was sentenced to three years in prison for firing a shotgun into an occupied vehicle and leading police on a brief chase. What’s more, Jarvis had previous convictions for resisting arrest, burglary and other charges.

For Jarvis, the standoff with police was the latest misstep in a family that had a history of running afoul of the law.

His father, Anthony Jarvis, was shot and killed by police in Charlestown in 2008 during a standoff after authorities attempted to arrest his son Jesse Jarvis. The elder Jarvis fired his 9mm gun when a police officer entered his trailer. The officer returned fire and Jarvis was killed.

Incubator for Addiction

During yesterday’s hearing, defense attorney Robert Morgan asserted that Jarvis had ready access to drugs while in prison, and exited in worse shape than when he entered the DOC’s care.

Jarvis was able to gain access to drugs largely because of the respect other prisoners accorded his brother, Jesse, who was “seen as a leader” in the Concord prison, Morgan said in court.

Jesse Jarvis held so much sway that the DOC transferred him to prison in Florida. (DOC spokesman Jeff Lyons confirmed yesterday that Jesse Jarvis had been sent to Florida, but declined to discuss his specific case.)

“Mr. Jarvis had ready access to drugs,” because of his connection to his brother, Morgan said. “When he came out of jail, he was seriously addicted.”

Morgan said his client’s drug of choice was suboxone, also known as buprenorphine, a synthetic opiate used to treat heroin and other opiate addictions.

In an interview yesterday, Lyons declined to discuss Jarvis’ case specifically, but said that DOC struggles to keep drugs from being smuggled into its facilities.

Often, visitors bring substances with them into visiting rooms, Lyons said, but it is difficult to monitor every person or package that enters the facilities.

“We do have a problem with contraband being introduced in the prisons,” Lyons said. “It is a continuing problem for us. Whenever possible we arrest people and charge them criminally. It’s unfortunate, but we do have a challenge.”

Supporters Testify

As Judge Brian Tucker was about to accept the plea deal yesterday, a half-dozen family and friends spoke on Jarvis’s behalf, an occurrence more typically seen in high-profile fatality cases than in drug cases.

Jarvis’ supporters said that, when he is not in trouble with the law, Jarvis is a doting father to his 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, and a loyal husband to his wife of 10 years, Angel.

“I know my husband better than anyone,” Angel Jarvis said in court yesterday. “We have a good family life. My husband is a good family man. He hasn’t always made good decisions. The reason I have been with my husband and will stay by his side ... (is because) he has a very good heart and I know he wants to prove himself to his family and his community.”

Even a woman who works at his children’s day care center spoke on his behalf: Jarvis picked up his children on time every day — a rarity among the parents, Southwest Community Services Family Advocate Erin Kelly said. And when the group held events with parents, Kelly said, Jarvis was one of the fathers who showed up.

“Tony is always there,” Kelly said. “The kids are better when Tony is home.”

Eventually, Jarvis rose on his own behalf, and told his supporters that he alone was to blame for his troubles.

“I’d like to thank everybody for all the nice things you said about me,” he told them, minutes before he was led back to prison.

Mark Davis can be reached at mcdavis@vnews.com or 603-727-3304.

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