Drug Enforcement Administration

Atlanta

Robert J. Murphy, Jr., Special Agent in Charge

April 09, 2018

Contact: Chuvalo Truesdell

Phone Number: (404) 893-7000

Atlanta Drug Dealer Charged Under Operation Scope For Distributing Heroin That Resulted In Overdose Death

Atlanta) - Donquell Weddington has been arraigned on federal charges of distributing heroin to an individual which resulted in serious injury and death, as well as three additional counts of distributing heroin and cocaine in 2017 and 2018. This case was presented as part of Operation SCOPE. Weddington was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 3, 2018.

“In this case, the death of a person addicted to heroin strikes at the core of this country’s opioid epidemic,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Division. “Donquell Weddington allegedly provided the victim in this case with a deadly dose of heroin. The mission of DEA is unwavering--we combat drug traffickers by investigating and prosecuting those who criminally distribute drugs, which ultimately cause immeasurable damage and even death to those in our communities. This case is a perfect example of how the law enforcement community and the U.S. Attorney’s Office work together to remove such criminals from its streets.”

“Weddington’s alleged heroin distribution led to a drug overdose which resulted in a death in our community,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Operation SCOPE does not just apply to those who prescribe opioids, it also targets drug traffickers who allegedly distribute heroin, fentanyl, or opioids that cause death or serious injury to users. We have a zero tolerance for those who destroy lives through the distribution of drugs like heroin.”

“The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is proud to partner with local, state, and federal agencies in battling the opioid/heroin epidemic,” said GBI Director Vernon Keenan. “This indictment serves as notice that drug dealers will be held accountable for the consequences of the dangerous drugs they sell.”

“We will not stand by and allow these criminals distributing drugs throughout our city to do so unchecked,” said Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields. “The relationship we have with our local, state and federal partners is invaluable and with them, we will continue the fight against the distribution of dangerous drugs in our communities.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: On the morning of April 10, 2017, Donquell Weddington allegedly sold heroin to an individual after days of negotiating the deal by telephone. Later that day, the buyer suffered a drug overdose in the lobby of an office building in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia. Paramedics transported the person to Piedmont Hospital where the individual was treated for symptoms related to a heroin overdose.

The person was released from the hospital later that evening, and proceeded to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport intent on catching a flight to New York. Instead, the individual collapsed in the T-Gate Concourse of the airport and died the following morning from a heroin overdose.

Months later, Weddington allegedly sold heroin and cocaine on three separate occasions in the Northern District of Georgia.

Donquell Weddington, 24, of Atlanta, Georgia, will be arraigned at a later date. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the DEA, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Atlanta Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Hartigan is prosecuting the case.

(Atlanta - Donquell Weddington has been arraigned on federal charges of distributing heroin to an individual which resulted in serious injury and death, as well as three additional counts of distributing heroin and cocaine in 2017 and 2018. This case was presented as part of Operation SCOPE. Weddington was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 3, 2018.

“In this case, the death of a person addicted to heroin strikes at the core of this country’s opioid epidemic,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Division. “Donquell Weddington allegedly provided the victim in this case with a deadly dose of heroin. The mission of DEA is unwavering--we combat drug traffickers by investigating and prosecuting those who criminally distribute drugs, which ultimately cause immeasurable damage and even death to those in our communities. This case is a perfect example of how the law enforcement community and the U.S. Attorney’s Office work together to remove such criminals from its streets.”

“Weddington’s alleged heroin distribution led to a drug overdose which resulted in a death in our community,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Operation SCOPE does not just apply to those who prescribe opioids, it also targets drug traffickers who allegedly distribute heroin, fentanyl, or opioids that cause death or serious injury to users. We have a zero tolerance for those who destroy lives through the distribution of drugs like heroin.”

“The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is proud to partner with local, state, and federal agencies in battling the opioid/heroin epidemic,” said GBI Director Vernon Keenan. “This indictment serves as notice that drug dealers will be held accountable for the consequences of the dangerous drugs they sell.”

“We will not stand by and allow these criminals distributing drugs throughout our city to do so unchecked,” said Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields. “The relationship we have with our local, state and federal partners is invaluable and with them, we will continue the fight against the distribution of dangerous drugs in our communities.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: On the morning of April 10, 2017, Donquell Weddington allegedly sold heroin to an individual after days of negotiating the deal by telephone. Later that day, the buyer suffered a drug overdose in the lobby of an office building in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia. Paramedics transported the person to Piedmont Hospital where the individual was treated for symptoms related to a heroin overdose.

The person was released from the hospital later that evening, and proceeded to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport intent on catching a flight to New York. Instead, the individual collapsed in the T-Gate Concourse of the airport and died the following morning from a heroin overdose.

Months later, Weddington allegedly sold heroin and cocaine on three separate occasions in the Northern District of Georgia.

Donquell Weddington, 24, of Atlanta, Georgia, will be arraigned at a later date. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the DEA, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Atlanta Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Hartigan is prosecuting the case.

DEA also encourages parents & their children to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting www.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov. Follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv

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