Drug dealer who sold fatal heroin dose sentenced

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Russell Edward Johnson, 24, of Lusby to 11 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for distributing heroin to a person who died as a result of ingesting the heroin. The sentence was handed down Thursday, June 18.

The plea agreement was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans; and Calvert County State’s Attorney Laura Martin.    

“More people die of heroin overdoses than murder in Maryland,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Heroin dealers are selling death and despair.”

According to his plea agreement, on July 18, 2013 in St. Leonard,  Johnson sold heroin to an individual who ingested the heroin. A few hours later, Johnson again sold heroin to the individual. The individual ingested the additional heroin, and died shortly thereafter. The victim’s cause of death was determined to be heroin intoxication.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DEA, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, and Assistant State’s Attorney Lisa Ridge of the Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office, for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Arun G. Rao and Daniel C. Gardner, who prosecuted the case.

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