Kansas City, Kan., Man Sentenced to 15+ Years
For Selling Heroin That Caused Death
KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A Kansas City, Kan., man has been sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison for selling heroin that caused users to die from overdoses, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
Tyrone Ramsey, 36, Kansas City, Kan., was sentenced to 188 months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute. In his plea, he admitted that the heroin he sold caused death or serious bodily injury.
At a sentencing hearing, prosecutors argued that Ramsey worked selling heroin for a drug trafficking organization headed by co-defendants Verdale and Ferdinand Handy, which operated in the metropolitan Kansas City area from Nov. 1, 2007, through May 31, 2009. Many of the customers of the Handy organization were prior users of oxycodone and oxycontin, users of methamphetamine, and minors attending high school. Illegal users of oxycodone and oxycontin frequently substitute heroin if they are unabvle to obtain oxycodone and oxycontin. Heroin reportedly provides a similar high to oxycontin and oxycodone. Typically, heroin sold on the street is 10 to 15 percent pure. The Handy organization was selling heroin that was commonly over 50 percent pure. Heroin users would ingest the heroin in doses suited to lower purit and would overdose. An investigation into the heroin overdose of a high school student led to a joint investigation between federal and local agencies. Several overdoses and two directly linked deaths resulted from the sale of heroin by the Handy organization due to the high purity of the heroin.
Investigators purchased heroin from Tyrone Ramsey on several occasions in 2008 in Kansas City, Kan. They also obtained evidence that Ramsey sold heroin to Lauri Siek, who died from a heroin overdose in November 2008 in Atchinson, Kan.
Grissom commended the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Atchison Police Department, the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department, the Olathe Police Department, the Overland Park Police Department, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri McCracken for their work on the case.