March 28, 2016
Contact: Special Agent Cheryl Davis
Phone Number: (313) 234-4000
Ohio Men Plead Guilty To Selling “Blue Drop” Heroin Mixed With Fentanyl That Resulted In Death
Marion residents Eric Creagh and Rashawn Thomas face lengthy federal prison sentences
MARION, Ohio - Two Marion, Ohio, men have pleaded guilty to selling a mixture of heroin and fentanyl that resulted in an overdose death last year, law enforcement officials said.
Eric Creagh, 32, and Rashawn D. Thomas, 27, each pleaded guilty to one count of drug trafficking that resulted in death.
Creagh sold Thomas “blue drop heroin” -- a mixture of heroin and fentanyl that had been dyed blue -- on May 22, 2015. Later that day, Thomas sold a portion of the “blue drop heroin” to Christopher Wolford, who used the drug at his home, which ultimately caused him to overdose and die, according to court documents.
Creagh and Thomas are scheduled to be sentenced later this year. Under the terms of their guilty pleas, Creagh is expected to be sentenced to nearly 16 years in federal prison, while Thomas is expected to be sentenced to nine years in federal prison.
“Heroin and fentanyl abuse has caused on unprecedented wave of overdose deaths in our community over the past year,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon. “The only way we can stem this tide is with a comprehensive approach focused on prevention, treatment, prescribing practices and enforcement. Those who sell fentanyl and heroin that kills people deserve to go to prison.”
U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Plancon said: “DEA and our law enforcement partners have made it a priority to investigate the distribution of drugs that result in death. The efficiency in which this investigation was conducted, taking dangerous drug dealers off of the street, demonstrates the strong level of cooperation among all of our partners. We are focused on bringing to justice those individuals that are responsible for the increasing heroin problem in Ohio and across the United States.”
“On May 28, 2015 the City of Marion reached out to our federal and state partners asking for assistance with a Blue Drop Heroin overdose epidemic,” Marion Police Chief William Collins said. “Through combined efforts of our local drug task force, MARMET/METRICH, DEA, BCI and the US Attorney’s Office, an unprecedented 14-day investigation took place and resulted in the arrests of Eric Creagh and Rashawn Thomas. These individuals were charged at the federal level in hopes that they would receive the kind of prison sentence that would fit the criminal offense. Today we see our hopes fulfilled in that they will serve 16 years and nine years respectively for their crimes against this community. Marion Law Enforcement will continue to seek harsh prison sentences for those whom seek to destroy our community.”
“I commend the work of the local, state, and federal authorities who worked so aggressively to get the supplier of this so-called ‘blue drop’ heroin off the streets,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Drugs like heroin and fentanyl are devastating lives and tearing families apart every day in this state. Traffickers must be held responsible, and investigators with my office’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation are available to work with local authorities anywhere in Ohio to help make that happen.”
Members of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Marion Metro Drug Enforcement (MARMET), the Marion Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff's Office executed search warrants at two homes owned by Creagh on June 10. Creagh was arrested and law enforcement agents recovered approximately one kilogram of a heroin/fentanyl mixture, blue fabric dye, a face mask with a filtration system and rubber gloves, two hydraulic presses and approximately $60,000 in cash, according to court documents.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Freeman and Thomas Weldon following an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, MARMET, the Marion Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.