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Press Release

Brother and Sister Sentenced for Drug Conspiracy Involving Fentanyl Sales

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

Defendants Sold Fake Oxycodone (M-30) Pills Containing Fentanyl Causing Overdose and Death of a 20-year old Woman

            WASHINGTON – Larry Jerome Eastman, 23, of Temple Hills, Maryland, and his sister, Justice Michelle Eastman, 26, of Washington, D.C., were sentenced today for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. The pair pleaded guilty February 8, 2023, in U.S. District Court. Larry Eastman was sentenced to 140 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release; Justice Eastman was sentenced to 37 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release. The sentences were announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the Washington Division Office, and Interim Chief Ashan Benedict, of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            The defendants were arrested on January 26, 2022, following an investigation into the April 6, 2021 fentanyl overdose death of a woman in Southeast Washington, D.C. According to the government’s evidence, the 20-year-old victim had survived an earlier overdose in November of 2020, and was revived after paramedics administered Narcan. At the time of her fatal overdose in April 2021, white powder was discovered on a coffee table at the victim’s apartment. The DEA analyzed the powder and determined it to be fentanyl. An autopsy determined the victim’s cause of death was acute fentanyl intoxication.

            A review of the victim’s phone revealed text messages from the previous evening with Larry Eastman in which the victim asked for “jammers” (a street term that often refers to counterfeit blue Oxycodone pills that contain fentanyl). Larry Eastman then directed the victim to his address in Washington D.C., and requested that she make payment to a Cash App account registered to Justice Eastman. Additional communications between Larry Eastman and the victim went as far back as September 2020, the start of the conspiracy, along with corresponding payments to Justice Eastman’s Cash App accounts. When the two defendants were arrested in January 2022, law enforcement seized additional fake Oxycodone (M30) pills, which contained fentanyl, and match the pills that the defendants were working together to sell.

            “Many of the Fentanyl pills being peddled contain fatal doses of the drug,” said U.S. Attorney Graves. “Nevertheless, this brother and sister were willing to flood our streets with this poison.  Larry Eastman’s actions directly led to the death of a young woman. These sentences establish that there are consequences to distributing this incredibly dangerous drug and where we can prove that someone delivered the fatal dose we will do all within our power to ensure the sentence reflects the tragic loss of life.”

            “We are in the middle of a Fentanyl Poisoning Crisis,” said Special Agent in Charge Forget. “Drug traffickers like the Eastmans, are distributing fake pills laced with Fentanyl and misleading our citizens without regard for their wellbeing. We will continue the work with our federal, state and local partner to investigate and ultimately prosecute these ruthless criminals.”

            As noted by the DEA, because of its potency and low cost, fentanyl is increasingly being mixed with other drugs including heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine, increasing the likelihood of a fatal interaction. Particularly dangerous are fake prescription pills like the fake oxycodone M30 tablets seized in this case, which contain fentanyl. The DEA Laboratory has found that, of the fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills analyzed in 2022, six out of ten now contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl (see One Pill Can Kill).

            The case was investigated by the Washington Division Office of the DEA and the Metropolitan Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andy T. Wang, David T. Henek, and Matthew W. Kinskey, of the Violence Reduction and Trafficking Offenses Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Updated June 15, 2023

Prescription Drugs
Press Release Number: 23-329