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Midland Man Arrested in Oklahoma City Charged with Drug Distribution Resulting in Death

MIDLAND, TX -- DEA Special Agent in Charge Joseph A. Arabit and United States Attorney John E. Murphy announced the arrest and federal grand jury indictment against 49-year-old Charles Robert Deatherage in connection with the death of 22­year-old Midland man in May of last year.

The federal grand jury indictment, returned on April 27, 2011 and unsealed today, alleges that Deatherage was responsible for the death of Jaret Bush by providing him with oxycodone on or about May 11, 2010. According to the indictment, on the morning of May 12, 2010, a relative of Bush found him dead in his bed. The cause of Bush’s death was oxycodone toxicity. More specifically, oxycodone, a potent opioid medication, caused central nervous system depression and respiratory depression in Bush. Thus, Bush became unconscious and his breathing slowed. When Bush was unconscious, he was unable to protect his airway and stomach contents entered his lungs. Ultimately, Bush stopped breathing entirely due to the respiratory depression from the oxycodone.

DEA agents arrested Deatherage yesterday in Moore, Oklahoma. This afternoon, Deatherage had his initial appearance in Oklahoma City before United States Magistrate Judge Bana Roberts, who ordered that Deatherage remain in federal custody and be transferred to Western District of Texas.

Upon conviction, Deatherage faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years and up to life in federal prison.

“This case is a sad reminder that prescription drugs can be deadly. DEA is committed to addressing the diversion of prescription drugs and we will continue to do our part to ensure that these drug dealers are held accountable for the serious consequences of their illegal actions. We hope that this case serves as a warning to those who might abuse prescription drugs or distribute them to others,” said Joseph M. Arabit, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration-El Paso Division.

This case was investigated by agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration together with investigators from the Midland Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney John Klassen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The DEA El Paso Division encourages parents, and their children to visit the following interactive websites at www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com, www.JustThinkTwice.comand www.dea.gov.


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