At Lotze Mosley, LLP, our Maryland and Washington D.C. criminal defense attorney knows, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the latest available statistics revealed opioids were involved in 80,411 overdose deaths — accounting for 75.4% of all drug overdose deaths nationwide.
Jarod Forget, the special agent in charge of the Washington Division Office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, called it an “alarming number,” stating the Washington D.C. region has seen a similar jump in fatalities, mainly linked to the availability of increasingly dangerous batches of fentanyl.
Lawmakers agree, encouraging law enforcement — from patrol officers and DEA agents to prosecutors and U.S. Attorneys — to pursue the most serious drug crime charges available against those who sell, transport, or manufacture drugs that pose overdosing risks to Washington D.C.’s communities. The most severe result has been prosecuting overdose deaths as homicides.
Can Prosecutors in Washington D.C. Charge Drug Dealers with Homicide in Overdose Deaths?
In June 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice reported a District man was sentenced for distributing fentanyl, which resulted in the death of a Virginia consumer.
Andrew Cooper, 47, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced to 16 years in prison for distribution of Fentanyl. Cooper pleaded guilty on September 16, 2022, admitting that he distributed the drug to customers from his residence in Northeast Washington D.C., including to a male who subsequently died from consuming the Fentanyl that Cooper provided.
U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves stated, “This sentence reflects the serious consequences awaiting anyone who callously litters our communities with Fentanyl,” “Anyone considering peddling this poison needs to understand that they are likely to cause someone’s death, and that they will be held accountable for that death.”
Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget added, “We will be pursuing charges such as that in this case, as well as all cases where there’s a fatal drug overdose in our community,” said Forget. “One death is too many. Any deaths stemming from fentanyl is violent crime.”
Lotze Mosley Defends Washington D.C. Residents During All Drug Crime Charges
Drug crimes, including distribution resulting in death, are increasingly challenging because everyone involved in the case, including the District police and local prosecutors, is closely watched by federal agencies seeking to advance their agenda.
This means it is imperative that anyone charged with the death of another because they are the ones who sold or provided the drug(s) to ensure their rights are protected from the beginning of their cases.
At Lotze Mosley, our drug crime and homicide defense attorney will help you understand the extent of the charges against you and how we can help customize your defense strategy to pursue the best outcome for your case.
Contact our skilled criminal defense attorney at (202)-393-0535. This will ensure your rights are protected from the beginning so you can make informed decisions about your future.