There is no question that West Virginia is among those states facing the most serious epidemics of heroin and opioid abuse. Nationwide, over 30,000 people died in opioid-related incidents last year, and West Virginia seems to have had more than its share. At least one man may be facing years in prison for drug charges after a rash of overdoses last summer.
Authorities may be relieved to have located the person they believe is responsible for the nightmare that kept first responders and hospital personnel on their toes last August. The 22-year-old Ohio man pleaded guilty to charges of distributing heroin that allegedly caused at least 26 people to overdose in the span of a few hours. As part of his plea agreement, the man admitted he sold the drugs that were responsible for dozens of people overdosing within minutes after taking the substance.
The heroin was laced with two synthetic drugs: fentanyl and carfentanil. Fentanyl, the same drug believed responsible for the death of music legend Prince, is causing a spike in fatalities in surrounding states. The Centers for Disease Control says fentynal is 100 times more powerful than morphine. Carfentanil, nearly 10,000 times more powerful than morphine, is used as an elephant tranquilizer.
Although the man charged with distributing the deadly heroin has admitted his role in the overdoses, he will still benefit from legal counsel as he enters the sentencing phase of his federal criminal proceedings this spring. He faces 20 years in prison for the drug charges. In similar cases, an attorney in West Virginia who is experienced in handling federal criminal proceedings will work to make sure the client's rights are protected and that the terms of his plea agreement are met.
Source: foxnews.com, "Ohio man pleads guilty to selling opioids that led to 26 overdoses in a day", Jan. 10, 2017