A Cleveland man was indicted in federal court on charges that he sold heroin that caused at least two overdoses in Wooster, law enforcement officials said.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Demetrius L. Frizzell, 30, was indicted on six counts: two counts of distribution of heroin, one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, one count of obstruction of justice and two counts of witness tampering.
The heroin distribution charges come with a sentencing enhancement for selling heroin that caused serious bodily injury to individuals on or about Oct. 29 and Nov. 3, 2016, according to the news release.
If convicted on those counts, the sentences could carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office wrote.
Wooster police learned about a heroin overdose victim who on Nov. 3 was brought to an emergency room unresponsive and appeared to be deceased. He was revived after emergency-room staff administered 12 doses of Narcan, according to the release.
Investigators traced the sale of heroin to Frizzell, according to court documents.
Frizzell also sold heroin on Oct. 29 that resulted in an overdose, according to court documents. Frizzell, while in custody, called overdose victims and instructed them to change their statements to police, according to court documents.
“Heroin has caused an unprecedented wave of death, pain and destruction in Ohio,” U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon said, in the release.
“No corner of the state is immune. Only though aggressive law enforcement -- combined with education and prevention efforts, changes in prescribing practices and making treatment available to those who want help -- can we turn the tide on the opioid epidemic.”
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the MEDWAY Drug Enforcement Agency, the Wooster Police Department and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Teresa Riley.
The investigation is ongoing.