SnapChat Sale of Fentanyl-Laced Pills Leads to Federal Prison Term for Harrisonburg Man
HARRISONBURG, Va. – Abdallah Amer Ali, 21, of Harrisonburg, Virginia, was sentenced today to 13 years in federal prison after selling a fatal dose of fentanyl to a 16-year-old in Harrisonburg.
Ali pleaded guilty in June 2022 to one count of distributing a measurable quantity of fentanyl.
“In 2021, more than 100,000 Americans died from drug poisonings, with nearly three-fourths of those deaths involving opioids, and we are on pace to surpass that this year,” said United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh. “Our country is in the midst of a staggering crisis, and we must approach it comprehensively by prosecuting those who poison our communities and providing support and services to those fighting drug addiction disorder. Fighting this epidemic from both ends is the only way forward.”
“Many of the people who died from fentanyl had no idea they even took it. The drug cartels are using social media to relentlessly expand their business and deceptively sell fake pills directly to young people,” said Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Washington Division. “We will not stand for criminals such as this, who are duping our youth and fueling the overdose crisis in our area. This case is an example of how the DEA and our law enforcement partners are working to put an end to such unscrupulous criminal behavior and keep our communities safe.”
According to court documents, in October 2019, using the messaging app SnapChat, Ali arranged to sell what the teenage victim believed were Percocet pills, also known as “percs.” Although he advised the teenager to not ingest all of them at once, Ali stopped short of letting him know that the pills also contained the lethal opioid, fentanyl. Unaware that his pills were fentanyl-laced, the teenager ingested the pills, overdosed, and died early the next morning.
United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh and Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Washington Division, Jarod Forget, announced the sentence today.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Bassford and Jonathan Jones prosecuted the case.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Harrisonburg Police Department, and the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.