News Release
Date: May 14, 2012
Contact: DEA PIO Diana Apodaca
Phone: 915-832-6074

Deatherage Sentenced: Distributed Drugs That Resulted in Death
--Jaret Bush, 22, of Midland, Texas Died After Taking Drugs Distributed by Robert Deatherage--

May 14 (El Paso, TX) – DEA Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit and United States Attorney Robert Pitman, announced that in Midland this afternoon, 50-year-old Charles Robert Deatherage was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison in connection with the death of 22-year-old Midland man in May 2010.

In addition to the 15-year prison term, United States District Judge Robert A. Junell ordered that Deatherage be placed under supervised release for a period of 15 years after completing his prison term.

“This case is a sad reminder that prescription drugs can be deadly. We hope that it serves as a warning to those who might abuse these drugs or distribute them to others. The sentencing of Deatherage to 15 years in prison shows the commitment of DEA and federal prosecutors to address the diversion of prescription drugs. We will continue to do our part to ensure that these drug dealers are held accountable for the serious consequences of their illegal actions,” said Joseph M. Arabit, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration-El Paso Division.

On December 19, 2011, Deatherage pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of oxycodone resulting in death. By pleading guilty, Deatherage admitted that he was responsible for the death of Jaret Bush by providing him with oxycodone on or about May 11, 2010. According to court records, on the morning of May 12, 2010, a relative of Bush found him dead in his bed. The cause of Bush’s death was oxycodone toxicity. More specifically, oxycodone, a potent opioid medication, caused central nervous system depression and respiratory depression in Bush. Thus, Bush became unconscious and his breathing slowed. When Bush was unconscious, he was unable to protect his airway and stomach contents entered his lungs. Ultimately, Bush stopped breathing entirely due to the respiratory depression from the oxycodone.

This case was investigated by agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration together with investigators from the Midland Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney John Klassen prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

The DEA El Paso Division encourages parents, and their children to visit the following interactive websites at, and