Heroin Dealers Charged With Murder In Overdose Caseeditor | 12/11/2018 | 0 | Drug , Hot Topic , Incidents , Offense
On August 8th, 25-year old Tulsa resident Eric Adams overdosed on heroin. His brother found him unconscious on the bathroom floor, a syringe lying next to his body, and called 911. By the time paramedics arrived, it was already too late. Adams was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tulsa police found evidence that Adams had purchased the heroin a day earlier from Alex Schmitt, 26 and Toni Heath, 24. On Tuesday, November 20th, police executed a search warrant at a residence on South Memorial Drive owned by Schmitt and Heath. They confiscated heroin, methamphetamine, digital scales, and other “evidence of drug distribution”.
Schmitt and Heath were charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, acquiring proceeds from drug activities, possession of a controlled dangerous drug with intent to distribute, and the use of a telecommunications device in a drug transaction.
On Thursday, November 22nd, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter added first-degree murder to the list of charges.
From Small-Time Dealers To Predators
Hunter said: “Those who make the calculated, cold-blooded decision to spread deadly drugs like heroin into our communities and take the lives of others can never be tolerated. I applaud the efforts of the Tulsa Police Department, led by Chief Chuck Jordan, who have emphasized ridding Tulsa of drugs and those who distribute them. Although nothing we charge the alleged drug dealers with will bring back the life of Eric Adams, I hope these charges will bring his family some sense of relief.”
Heath and Schmitt weren’t primary drug dealers. One detective’s affidavit reads: “Alex Schmitt Stated that he was a small-time drug dealer and that he only sold enough heroin to support his own habit.” Now, Schmitt is being held in jail in lieu of $510,000 bond. Heath is currently being held without bond.
Schmitt allegedly purchased the drugs, and Heath distributed them. Both admit to selling heroin to Eric Adams the day before his overdose. The first-degree murder charge is part of a campaign Attorney General Hunter launched in April to combat drug abuse by aggressively targeting dealers and holding them accountable for the effects their drugs have on the community.
“The users in this sense, even though they’re using an illegal substance, are the victim,” said Assistant Tulsa County District Attorney Erik Grayless. “They’re trapped in that addiction and that system to where they can’t escape.”
This case is not unique in Tulsa, either. Another alleged drug dealer was recently charged with murder by a Tulsa County judge, to be held responsible for the overdose death of a 19-year-old girl to whom he had sold heroin.
The Tulsa Police Department has made it clear that they will be pressing charges in more cases like this in the future. “We’re certainly going to pursue others where we have that kind of evidence,” said Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan. “We think it will reduce the number of people who are willing to take up that endeavor as a lifestyle.”
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