Police in the Virginia Beach area have been focusing a lot of effort on stamping out heroin trafficking and other drug distribution in the region in the past year. Officials say their action has been prompted by a tragic rise in the number of drug overdose deaths. According to official figures, 62 deaths were recorded in 2013 and of those 25 were attributed to heroin.
As a result of the stepped up enforcement, officials say they have arrested 49 suspects just since October. Earlier this week, the federal prosecutor's office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced that it has filed drug charges against a 20-year-old Virginia Beach man.
The formal complaint accuses the man of distribution of heroin that resulted in the death last October of another Virginia Beach man. If he's convicted of the charge, officials say he could face a prison term of 20 years to life. A strong criminal defense is clearly called for.
According to the news release from the prosecutor's office, the suspect is alleged to have sold heroin to the victim on Oct. 27. Two days later, a 911 call prompted police to check on the man and they found him dead in his apartment. An autopsy says he died of heroin overdose.
Police claim that heroin was clearly visible at the scene and that an empty syringe was found near the man's body. Two bags of a powder that was later determined to be heroin were also found.
What evidence authorities may have linking the drugs to the suspect is not made clear in reports we've seen. This is something that an attorney for the defense will likely want to examine closely to be sure that no rights violations have occurred.
Source: Daily Press, "Virginia Beach man charged in federal court in heroin-related death," Andrea Castillo, April 29, 2014