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Rochester Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Fentanyl Distribution Overdose Fatality

OCT 28 (CONCORD, NH) – Mark Ross, 42, of Gonic, New Hampshire was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to distributing a controlled substance that caused the death of Evangelique Tarmey.  The sentencing was announced by Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and United States Attorney, Emily Gray Rice.

According to documents that were filed in United States District Court, Mark Ross was living with Tarmey and Tarmey’s mother at the Riviera Motel in Rochester, New Hampshire in October of 2015.  On October 16, 2015, Ross traveled with Tarmey and another person to Lawrence, Massachusetts in order to obtain a quantity of heroin.  Ross returned to the Riviera Motel with the drugs.  After using a portion of the drugs, Ross provided a quantity of the drugs 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. 

“I want to thank the Rochester Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration for their work on this case,” said Rice.  “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 and the Drug Enforcement Administration assisted in the investigation.


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