Maryland Officials Bringing Charges in Drug Deaths - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Governor Applauds Murder Charges in Overdose Cases

Posted: Updated:

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- Gov. Larry Hogan praised local officials in southern Maryland on Wednesday for bringing murder charges against eight alleged drug dealers linked to eight overdose deaths.

Hogan, speaking a news conference in Leonardtown, said he hopes the long-term investigation would serve as a model to prosecutors statewide for fighting a deadly epidemic that resulted in more than 2,000 overdose deaths last year in Maryland.

"Everyone is entitled to due process, and everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but I believe that this is the level of tough prosecution that we need in order to turn the tide in this deadly fight," Hogan said. "Investing in prevention and treatment can only work if we eliminate the threat posed by drug traffickers all across the state of Maryland."

Fatal drug overdoses continue to climb at an alarming rate. The state health department last week said that from January through March, there were 550 overdose-related deaths in Maryland, up 37 percent from 401 in last year's first quarter. Deaths from heroin spiked with fentanyl are rising, driving up the overall spike, the report noted.

Fentanyl is a powerful painkiller, 50 times more potent than street heroin. There were 372 fentanyl-related deaths in the first three months of this year, more than double last year's 157.

Tim Cameron, sheriff of St. Mary's County, said he never thought heroin would be the greatest threat to his quiet, rural county, once far removed from big-city drug problems.

"We treated every deadly overdose case as a homicide and as a result of that, State's Attorney Richard Fritz secured eight separate indictments on individuals for second-degree murder, manslaughter, reckless endangerment and distribution charges," Cameron said. "The St. Mary's County grand juries have indicted eight persons for causing the death of eight victims by distribution of illegal drugs, specifically heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil or some combination therein."

Carfentanil is an opioid used to sedate elephants, and is considered 10,000 times stronger than morphine.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • NPS Releases Results of Assateague Island Horse Census

    NPS Releases Results of Assateague Island Horse Census

    May 24, 2018 4:56 PM2018-05-24 20:56:00 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 4:58 PM EDT2018-05-24 20:58:11 GMT
    The National Park Service has completed its May 2018 population census of wild horses on Assateague Island.More
    The National Park Service has completed its May 2018 population census of wild horses on Assateague Island.More
  • Salisbury Bypass Lanes North of Route 50 Open

    Salisbury Bypass Lanes North of Route 50 Open

    May 24, 2018 4:47 PM2018-05-24 20:47:00 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 4:47 PM EDT2018-05-24 20:47:54 GMT
    SALISBURY, Md.- Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, but the official start of summer traffic. But to help with beach traffic, Maryland State Highway Administration opened up all lanes north of Route 50 Thursday afternoon. The orange cones have bMore
    SALISBURY, Md.- Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, but the official start of summer traffic. But to help with beach traffic, Maryland State Highway Administration opened up all lanes north of Route 50 Thursday afternoon. The orange cones have bMore
  • Slaughter Beach Water Advisory Lifted

    Slaughter Beach Water Advisory Lifted

    May 24, 2018 4:41 PM2018-05-24 20:41:00 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 4:41 PM EDT2018-05-24 20:41:48 GMT
    (Photo credit: realtor.com)(Photo credit: realtor.com)
    (Photo credit: realtor.com)(Photo credit: realtor.com)
    The advisory went into effect Wednesday after a bacteria test showed results above the recreational water quality standard.More
    The advisory went into effect Wednesday after a bacteria test showed results above the recreational water quality standard. More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Boardwalk Barriers Installed in Ocean City

    Boardwalk Barriers Installed in Ocean City

    May 23, 2018 10:36 PM2018-05-24 02:36:00 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 8:47 AM EDT2018-05-24 12:47:26 GMT
    OCEAN CITY, Md--In Worcester County, Ocean City officials are beefing up security this summer by installing new boardwalk barriers. "We're installing barriers to prevent vehicles from accessing the boardwalk, we want to make sure that we are better safe tMore
    Ocean City officials are beefing up security this summer by installing new boardwalk barriers. More
  • Salisbury Woman Convicted of Murder

    Salisbury Woman Convicted of Murder

    May 24, 2018 9:31 AM2018-05-24 13:31:00 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 9:31 AM EDT2018-05-24 13:31:02 GMT
    Brandi UpshurBrandi Upshur
    Brandi UpshurBrandi Upshur
    A Salisbury, Maryland woman has been convicted of first-degree murder, robbery and related charges in connection with last year's killing of a man in Wicomico County.More
    A Salisbury, Maryland woman has been convicted of first-degree murder, robbery and related charges in connection with last year's killing of a man in Wicomico County. More
  • Delaware Lawmakers Propose Bonuses on Top of Pay Raises

    Delaware Lawmakers Propose Bonuses on Top of Pay Raises

    May 23, 2018 5:25 PM2018-05-23 21:25:00 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 8:36 AM EDT2018-05-24 12:36:12 GMT
    Members of the Delaware legislature's budget-writing committee have approved spending $23 million to give state employees $500 bonuses next year, on top of pay raises proposed by Democratic Gov. John Carney.More
    Members of the Delaware legislature's budget-writing committee have approved spending $23 million to give state employees $500 bonuses next year, on top of pay raises proposed by Democratic Gov. John Carney.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices