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Calvert County Man Indicted on Drug Charges, Including the Distribution of Heroin Resulting in Death

SEP 29 (GREENBELT, Md.) - A federal grand jury has indicted Russell Edward Johnson, 23, of Lusby, Maryland, today on charges of drug distribution, including one count of distribution of heroin resulting in death. 

The indictment was announced by Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans; and Calvert County State’s Attorney Laura Martin. 

  “Heroin is quickly becoming the drug of choice, leaving in its wake countless victims who have succumbed to heroin related overdoses, and in some cases, death. Today, Mr. Johnson is charged with supplying heroin, causing the ultimate, tragic death of an innocent person. Heroin has claimed another casualty:  a victim that could have been your brother, your father, or a friend,” said Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division.  “This investigation was a collaborative effort of DEA and the United States Attorney’s Office, Calvert County Sheriff’s Department and the Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office.  Together we send a message that drug dealers will pay the price for their acts. DEA will use all resources at its disposal to investigate and arrest those individuals whose only motivation is greed and who carry with them a complete disregard for human life.”

The four count indictment alleges that on April 10, 2013, Johnson possessed oxycodone with the intent to distribute and that on July 11 and July 18, 2013, Johnson distributed heroin.  Finally, the indictment alleges that on July 18, 2013, Johnson distributed heroin and a person died as a result of using that heroin.

Johnson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison for distribution of heroin resulting in death; and a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of the two counts of distribution of heroin and for possession of oxycodone with the intent to distribute.   An initial appearance has not yet been scheduled.  Johnson is currently detained on related state charges.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DEA, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, and Assistant State’s Attorney Lisa Ridge of the Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office, for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Arun G. Rao and Daniel C. Gardner, who are prosecuting the case.


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