4 men face charges for drug overdose deaths

On May 29, federal prosecutors announced that four Michigan men were charged for distributing heroin and other drugs that led to the overdose deaths of three individuals. If they are convicted of the drug crimes, three of the defendants could face life in prison. The case is one example of how federal prosecutors around the country are using enhanced penalties against drug traffickers when an overdose death occurs.

According to prosecutors, two of the defendants distributed a mixture of heroin and fentanyl that led to a 27-year-old man's death. Another defendant is accused of distributing Vicodin that led to the death of an 18-year-old man, and the last defendant is accused of distributing heroin that led to a 35-year-old woman's death. In addition to the possible life sentences, three of the men who were charged are facing a possible $1 million fine. The man who is accused of distributing Vicodin is facing a possible 15-year federal prison sentence and a $500,000 fine.

Since Jan. 1, around 60 people in the Detroit metropolitan area have suffered a fatal overdose after ingesting a combination of heroin and the painkiller fentanyl. Prosecutors say that they are attempting to use strong enforcement measures as a deterrent for other people who might think about selling drugs.

A person who is facing drug charges like this may want to have legal representation. A criminal defense attorney might attempt to mitigate the potential penalties for the charges by disproving an alleged link between the defendant's actions and an individual's overdose death. It may then become more possible to negotiate a plea arrangement and avoid lengthy incarceration.

Source: Birmingham Patch, " Feds Charge 4 in 'Killer' Heroin Linked to 60 Deaths," Beth Dalbey, May 29, 2015