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Press Release

Denver Woman Sentenced To Serve 15 Years In Federal Prison After Selling Heroin That Resulted In Overdose Death

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado

DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced that Ariel Nicole Walker, age 31 of Denver, Colorado was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson to serve 180 months (15 years) in federal prison for distribution of heroin resulting in death.  Following her prison sentence, Walker will serve five years of supervised release.  She appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, and was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service at the hearing’s conclusion.  The FBI joined in today’s announcement.

According to the facts contained in Walker’s plea agreement, on May 31, 2018, Walker, an individual with the initials E.N., and an individual with the initials C.T., drove to Westminster to buy heroin from Kayla Pagano, who was prosecuted separately in U.S. District Court.  E.N. paid Walker approximately $80 to purchase the heroin and approximately $40 for arranging the drug deal. Walker then met with Pagano at a Circle K in Westminster where Pagano sold Walker approximately .20 grams of heroin and approximately .20 grams of methamphetamine. E.N. injected some of the heroin and then passed out. Police later found E.N.’s dead body dumped in an alley in Denver. The heroin which caused E.N.’s death was the heroin Walker purchased from Pagano outside the Circle K and then distributed to E.N.  Pagano was subsequently charged with distribution of heroin and methamphetamine, and sentenced to 77 months in federal prison followed by four years of supervised release.

“Walker sold the drugs to an individual that died of an overdose and then dumped the body in an alley,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn.  “As we have said before, this office will continue to treat harshly those who deal drugs that kill people.” 

"This was an entirely preventable tragedy," said Denver FBI Special Agent in Charge Dean Phillips.  “We will not hesitate to investigate and seek prosecution for those who bring dangerous drugs to our streets."

This case was investigated by the Denver Police Department with assistance from the FBI Denver OCDETF Strike Force.  The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter McNeilly.


Jeff Dorschner
Spokesman, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado
303-454-0243 direct; 303-454-0400 fax

Updated December 20, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CASE NUMBER: 18-cr-00414