Anchorage Men Sentenced in Girl's Death
MAY 18 -- Anchorage, AK - Acting U.S. Attorney Deborah M. Smith announced that Glade Lusk, 22, and Matthew O ’ Connor, 26, were sentenced today in federal court for their role in the drug overdose death of a 16-year-old Eagle River girl in June 2003. U.S. District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline sentenced Lusk to 160 months, and O ’ Connor to 121 months in prison.
Both men were indicted in July, 2005, after an investigation by the Anchorage Police Department homicide unit and the Drug Enforcement Administration. On January 5, 2006, O ’ Connor pled guilty to one count of distribution of a controlled substance causing the death of another person. On January 11, 2006, Lusk pled guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, and accessory after the fact to distribution of a controlled substance causing death. A codefendant, Thairon Hawk, previously pled guilty to accessory after the fact and was sentenced to a term of 35 months in federal prison.
O ’ Connor admitted in court that he distributed 1,4 Butanediol ( “ BD ” ), causing the death of Meagan Maroney and the illness of others, including himself. BD has a substantially similar chemical structure and effect on the central nervous system as gamma hydroxybutyric acid ( “ GHB ” ). As such, BD is a “ controlled substance analogue ” of GHB under federal law according to court records. Lusk admitted that he possessed the drug with intent to distribute it, and that after the victim died, he arranged for and assisted in the destruction of the remaining drugs.
Federal charges were brought under the Hillory J. Farias and Samantha Reid Date‑Rape Drug Prohibition Act of 2000, which provides for severe penalties in cases where death or serious bodily injury results from the distribution of GHB.
In sentencing the defendants, Judge Beistline referred repeatedly to the danger created by mixing “ drugs, immaturity, and total disrespect for the law. ” He characterized the defendants ’ behavior as “ selfish, ” and hoped that when released, they would take the opportunity to enjoy the productive life that Meagan would never have. Meagan ’ s parents also addressed the Court.
The case was investigated by the Anchorage Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.