Suspension, Pair Of Revocations In Iowa ‘Hidden Syringes’ Case

by | 09.11.2017 | 5:17pm
Prairie Meadows

Stewards at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino have revoked the licenses of an assistant trainer and veterinarian and suspended a trainer for a year following a security episode in a barn last month.

Stewards ruled assistant trainer Victor Ibarra and vet Verlin Jones should lose their licenses and that trainer Kenneth Laymon's license should be suspended for a year, in addition to a $1,000 fine.

The incident in question occurred the afternoon of Friday, Aug. 25 in barn D1. Security officer Victoria Palmer said she was patrolling the barn when she heard a pair of male voices. She turned down her security radio and rounded a corner to see Ibarra walking in front of her. She saw him put something behind a bale of hay and confronted Ibarra to hand it over. Ibarra gave her two syringes in bubble wrap that each contained an unknown substance. Ibarra told Palmer that Jones told him to hide the syringes. Ibarra later testified he hid the syringes because he was scared not because Jones told him to.

Jones disputed Palmer's report that she saw him in the barn that day. He also said the syringes contained Aminoplex plus and Monster Energy Booster, which is sugar based. According to a stewards' report, Jones said the syringes were wrapped in bubble wrap to “keep them together.” Jones also said he gave the syringes to Ibarra to hold because he forgot to bring supplies with him to the barn and needed to go back to his truck. Security officer Palmer said when Jones returned he did not have any supplies with him.

The stewards ruled Jones' testimony was not credible.

Trainer Laymon said, according to the Board of Stewards ruling: “Ibarra has been with him for approximately eight years and he (Laymon) is in the process of handing his training business over to him (Ibarra.) Laymon testified he did not know Ibarra was going to inject his horses.

“Laymon stated he allows Ibarra to run his shedrow as he (Ibarra) feels is best. Laymon testified he does go to his barn on a regular basis and discusses how the horses are doing and their training with Ibarra. Laymon further testified Dr. Verlin Jones is his practicing veterinarian and has authority to treat his horses as he (Jones) feels they need it, usually on a Monday or Tuesday for horses racing that week. Laymon further testified he knows the rules of racing and he is ultimately responsible for this horses and his employee (Ibarra).”

Jones violated Iowa's rules of racing in that “No veterinarian shall within the facility premises furnish, sell, or loan any hypodermic syringe, needle, or other injection device, or any drug, narcotic, or prohibited substance to any other person unless with written permission of the stewards.”

As for Ibarra, “A person found within or in the immediate vicinity of a security stall who is in possession of unauthorized drugs or hypodermic needles or who is not authorized to possess drugs or hypodermic needles shall, in addition to any other penalties, be barred from entry into any racetrack in Iowa and any occupational license the person holds shall be revoked.”

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