Drug Dealer Sentenced to 9 Years in Federal Prison for Distributing Heroin/Fentanyl to Two Customers who Overdosed
Defendant Warned Customer to “be careful, people have been falling out over this. It’s fire…;”More than 50 Marylanders Die Every Month from Heroin, Often Poisoned with Deadly Additives
U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Edward Dewy Viens, age 30, of North Beach, Maryland, today to 108 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Judge Grimm also ordered Viens to forfeit $1,302, seized during the investigation.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans; Calvert County State’s Attorney Laura Martin; and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams.
“More than 50 Marylanders die every month from heroin, which may be poisoned with deadly additives, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “If you know someone who uses heroin, get them help today before they become the next statistic.”
According to his plea agreement, from October to December 30, 2014, Viens obtained heroin and fentanyl from a supplier in Annapolis, and redistributed those drugs to users in Prince George’s, Calvert and Anne Arundel Counties.
On November 30, 2014, a Calvert County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) patrol officer attempted to pull over a vehicle in Owings, Maryland for a traffic violation. When the officer activated his lights, the vehicle turned abruptly into a driveway and stopped. Viens got out of the vehicle and threw approximately 13 grams of heroin to the ground as he ran away, eluding arrest.
On December 21, 2014, Viens met one of his regular customers at a gas station in Calvert County and sold a gram of mixture containing heroin and/or fentanyl for $120. Afterwards, the customer and an acquaintance drove to a secluded area where the customer ingested the drugs. Almost immediately, the customer lost consciousness. The acquaintance called emergency personnel who performed CPR on the victim and administered Naloxone Hydrochloride (Narcan). The victim was subsequently admitted to a hospital and diagnosed with a heroin overdose.
A few days later on December 27, Viens met another customer in Calvert County and sold 1.5 grams of a mixture containing heroin and/or fentanyl for $210. Veins warned the customer to “be careful, people have been falling out over this. It’s fire, so just please be careful.” The customer drove to a nearby parking lot and ingested a small amount of the drugs. The customer then dropped off an acquaintance and drove to a second parking lot, ingesting more of the drugs. The customer drove a short distance from the parking lot, lost consciousness and struck a telephone pole. CCSO officers found the victim unconscious and unresponsive. They administered Narcan, and the victim was taken to a hospital and diagnosed with a heroin overdose.
On December 30, 2014, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Viens’ hotel room in Annapolis. They detained Viens, who was attempting to flush drugs and drug paraphernalia down the toilet. They seized a digital scale with heroin residue, material used to package drugs, a bag containing alprazolam and oxycodone pills, syringes and a residue from a table that contained fentanyl, caffeine and quinine. Law enforcement also recovered $302 from Viens’ wallet, and $1,000 from Viens’ front pants pocket, or that had spilled out of his pocket.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the DEA, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, and the Calvert County and Anne Arundel County State Attorney’s Offices for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas M. Sullivan and Daniel C. Gardner, who prosecuted the case.