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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
April 15, 2005

Federal Prison Sentences Handed Down for Austin Area Heroin Dealers

APR 15 --United States Attorney Johnny Sutton announced that 34-year-old Arnold Lopez and 21-year-old Richard Federmann were sentenced to 35 years and 47 years in federal prison, respectively, for their roles in the death of 17-year-old Tracey Leigh Crossett.

By his guilty plea, Federmann admitted that he began providing heroin on a regular basis to Ms. Crossett in June 2003. In December 2003, Ms. Crossett completed a 32-day in-patient substance abuse rehabilitation program and subsequently attended support group meetings along with her parents. On April 7, 2004, Ms. Crossett and Federmann attended the same support group meeting. Three days later, Federmann purchased heroin from Arnold Lopez, something that Federmann had purportedly done almost on a daily basis from January 2004 through June 2, 2004. Federmann gave a portion of the heroin he purchased from Lopez to Ms. Crossett. On April 11, 2004, Ms. Crossett’s father found her lying unresponsive on the bathroom floor. An autopsy determined that Ms. Crossett

died as a result of a heroin overdose. Both defendants pled guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin.

“Today's message is simple: selling illegal drugs will land you in federal prison. If someone dies from the drugs you sold them, you will be going away for a long, long time,” stated U.S. Attorney Sutton.

In addition to the prison terms, United States District Judge Lee Yeakel ordered that Lopez and Federmann each pay a $10,000 fine and be placed under supervised release for a period of 12 years after completing their prison terms.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of

Investigation, Austin Police Department and the Lakeway Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Sharon Pierce prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

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