BRITISH MAN INDICTED IN HEROIN OVERDOSE DEATH
Richard J. Klemis, 38, a British citizen who formerly resided in O’Fallon, Ill.-, has been indicted for distributing the heroin which caused the death of Tyler P. McKinney, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge and is entitled to a fair trial at which the Government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
According to the indictment, McKinney, 19, died of a heroin overdose in O’Fallon, Ill.-, on February 23, 2011.
Klemis is also charged in the indictment with distributing heroin to a minor, and with possession of heroin.
United States Attorney Stephen Wigginton has announced that the prosecution of criminals who cause drug overdose deaths, even if such deaths are unintentional, will be a top priority for federal prosecutors.
If convicted, Klemis could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a fine of up to $2 million, up to 6 years supervised release upon release from prison, and a $300 special assessment.
The investigation that resulted in Klemis’ indictment was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the O’Fallon Police Department.
The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Robert L. Garrison.