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Rochester Man and Massachusetts Woman Plead Guilty to Drug Distribution Causing Death

JUL 19 (CONCORD, N.H.) –– Michael J. Ferguson Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and United States Attorney, Emily Gray Rice announced that Mark Ross, 42, of Gonic, New Hampshire, and Leslie Aberle, 32, of Salisbury, Massachusetts appeared before United States District Court Judge Landya McCafferty and pleaded guilty to distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death. 

According to documents that were filed in United States District Court and statements in the plea proceeding, Aberle drove Mark Ross from Rochester, New Hampshire to Lawrence, Massachusetts on October 16, 2015 for the purpose of obtaining heroin.  Ross acquired the heroin.  Ross and Aberle returned to the Riviera Motel in Rochester where Ross was staying with Jazzmyn Rood and Rood’s daughter Evangelique Tarmey.  Ross provided a quantity of the drug to Tarmey.  The following morning, Tarmey was found dead in the motel room.  The New Hampshire Medical Examiner later found that Ms. Tarmey died of acute fentanyl intoxication. 

New Hampshire has the third-highest rate of per capita drug overdose deaths in the United States.  More than half of the drug overdose deaths in New Hampshire in 2015 were the result of fentanyl, either alone or in combination with other drugs.

United States Attorney Rice said, “I want to thank the Rochester Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration for their work on this case.  Fighting the opioid epidemic is a multi-pronged, team effort.  One facet of our attack is to prosecute those who are criminally responsible for causing drug overdoses.   We will continue to work with law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute the individuals who distribute drugs that cause overdose deaths.  Any drug distribution has the potential to be deadly, regardless of the quantity of drugs involved.  When a drug distribution causes an overdose death, my office will seek to hold the distributor accountable.”

In April 2016, the United States Attorney’s Office and the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office announced the formation of an inter-office team of prosecutors who will work together to prosecute individuals who cause opiate overdoses in New Hampshire.  This prosecution, initiated before the creation of the joint team, is an example of the type of case that will be generated by the team.

The case was investigated by the Rochester Police Department.  The Drug Enforcement Administration assisted in the investigation. 


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