A Cleveland man was indicted in federal court on charges that he sold heroin that caused at least two overdoses in Wooster
A Cleveland man was indicted in federal court on charges that he sold heroin that caused at least two overdoses in Wooster, law enforcement officials said.
Demetrius L. Frizzell, 30, was indicted on six counts: two counts of distribution of heroin, one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, one count of obstruction of justice and two counts of witness tampering. The heroin distribution charges come with a sentencing enhancement for selling heroin that caused serious bodily injury to individuals on or about Oct. 29 and Nov. 3, 2016.
If convicted on those counts, the sentences could carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Wooster police learned about a heroin overdose victim who on Nov. 3 was brought to an emergency room unresponsive and appeared to be deceased. He was revived after emergency-room staff administered 12 doses of Narcan. Investigators traced the sale of heroin to Frizzell, according to court documents.
Frizzell also sold heroin on Oct. 29 that resulted in an overdose, according to court documents.
Frizzell, while in custody, called overdose victims and instructed them to change their statements to police, according to court documents.
“Heroin has caused an unprecedented wave of death, pain and destruction in Ohio,” U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon said. “No corner of the state is immune. Only though aggressive law enforcement -- combined with education and prevention efforts, changes in prescribing practices and making treatment available to those who want help -- can we turn the tide on the opioid epidemic.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy Plancon stated: “Overdoses and overdose deaths related to heroin have become an epidemic across the country and Ohio has been hit particularly hard by this problem. Identifying and bringing to justice those individuals that distribute illegal drugs that result in an overdose, is one of DEA’s top priorities.”
MEDWAY Director Donald Hall said: “The MEDWAY Drug Enforcement Agency will continue to collaborate and work closely with our federal partners to hold people accountable for their actions who are involved in trafficking drugs in our communities.”
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the MEDWAY Drug Enforcement Agency, the Wooster Police Department and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Teresa Riley.
The investigation is ongoing.
If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.