Heroin dealer pleads guilty in federal court

Jacob Paddy, pictured, died of a heroin overdose in July 2013. Russell Edward Johnson has pled guilty to selling the drug to Paddy.

Greenbelt, MD - A Calvert County man has entered a guilty plea in federal court to one count of distribution of controlled dangerous substance (CDS) with death resulting, justice authorities reported.

The plea by Russell Edward Johnson, 23 of Lusby, was entered in Greenbelt Tuesday, April 21. According to a court press release, the plea agreement was announced by U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Karl C. Colder, Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans and Calvert County State’s Attorney Laura Martin.

The federal court reported that on July 18, 2013 Johnson sold heroin twice to a St. Leonard man who ingested the heroin both times. The buyer died after using the second quantity of heroin. The cause of death was determined to be heroin intoxication.

The victim was identified by family members as Jacob Paddy, 23. Paddy’s addiction was chronicled in a story by The Bay Net a few months after his death. Paddy’s mother, Ginger Rosela of Owings, has since become active in the local effort to educate the community about the dangers of opioid addiction.

Rosela has told The Bay Net she will be making a victim impact statement when Johnson is sentenced. The sentencing is tentatively scheduled for June 18 at 1 p.m. U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm will be presiding over the hearing.

“Johnson and the government have agreed that if the court accepts the plea agreement, Johnson will be sentenced to between 10 and 12 years in prison,” the federal court press release stated.

“It’s great work by the DEA and our deputies,” said Evans in a telephone interview. “We need to send a message that these drugs are poisoning our youth and won’t be tolerated.”

The U.S. attorney’s prosecuting the case are identified as Arun G. Rao and Daniel C. Gardner.

Contact Marty Madden at

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