June 21, 2011
Contact: SA Heath Anderson
Phone Number: (202) 305-8500
Conspirator Who Distributed Medications Leading To Overdose Death Sentenced To Three Years In Prison
Increased Penalties Apply to Drug Dealers When Users Overdose
BALTIMORE, MD. - On June 21, 2011, U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg sentenced April Lynn Baker, age 30, of Greencastle, Pennsylvania, formerly of Clear Spring, Maryland, to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute, and distributing, morphine and methadone, the use of which resulted in the death of Brandon Sgaggero.
The sentence was announced by Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore.
“The sentence that Ms. Baker received today should send a strong message to other individuals engaged in drug trafficking,” stated Ava Cooper-Davis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington Division. “Whether the individuals traffic in heroin, cocaine or are involved in the illicit distribution of prescription drugs, drug trafficking can have serious consequences,” stated Cooper-Davis.
“Drug dealers should be on notice that they can be held accountable if anyone dies after taking the drugs that they distribute,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “We are partnering with local law enforcement to charge similar cases because holding illegal drug dealers accountable for drug overdose deaths may save lives.”
According to her guilty plea, in February 2008, co-defendant Luis Reyes-Torres, then an employee of a nursing home, stole methadone, morphine and other medications which he provided to Baker. Baker distributed the methadone and morphine to Ryan Andrew Hartley in exchange for marijuana. On March 1, 2008, Hartley sold a 40-milligram wafer of methadone to Brandon Sgaggero for approximately $40, and 20 milliliters of morphine for approximately $20.
In the morning of March 6, 2008, Brandon Sgaggero was found dead in his apartment. An autopsy revealed that he had died of an overdose of methadone and morphine. Also on March 6, 2008, Hartley sent two text messages to Sgaggero’s phone asking whether Sgaggero wanted any more “shampoo.” The word “shampoo” was used as a code for morphine.
Judge Legg sentenced Luis Reyes-Torres, age 26, of Hagerstown, Maryland, on April 29, 2011 to 115 months in prison for his participation in the conspiracy. Ryan Andrew Hartley, age 26, of Smithburg, Maryland, pleaded guilty to his participation in the drug conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 7, 2011.