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Press Release

Couple Guilty of Smuggling Heroin Aboard USS Bush That Led to Overdose

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

NORFOLK, Va. – Donald G. McManus, 22, and Breanna L. McManus, 23, of Wallingford, Connecticut, pleaded guilty today to charges related to the distribution of heroin aboard the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier that ultimately led to the overdose of an active duty sailor.

Donald McManus and his wife, Breanna, were indicted by a federal grand jury on Sept. 2, 2015.  According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreements, Donald McManus was an active duty sailor in the United States Navy assigned to the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier in February 2015.  While in a restricted status on-board the USS Bush, Donald McManus had his wife smuggle heroin and syringes aboard the aircraft carrier.  The McManus couple sold heroin to another sailor who was later found unresponsive on the floor in the ship’s berthing area.  The USS Bush’s medical personnel immediately responded and worked with emergency medical technicians in an attempt to save the sailor’s life.  The overdose victim was without a detectable pulse until medical personnel were able to resuscitate the sailor.

Donald and Breanna McManus were charged by criminal complaint on Aug. 13, 2015. Daonald McManus will be sentenced on Jan. 21, 2016, and Breanna McManus will be sentenced on Jan. 27, 2016. Each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; and Tim Quick, Special Agent in Charge of NCIS’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after the pleas were accepted by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.

This case was investigated by NCIS’s Norfolk Field Office.  Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Alyssa Nichol, Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John F. Butler, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew C. Bosse are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:15-cr-109.                                                         


Updated October 15, 2015

Drug Trafficking