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Press Release

Reston Man Sentenced for Distributing Fentanyl That Caused Fatal Overdose

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Reston man was sentenced today to 12 years in prison for selling fentanyl to an individual who later suffered a fatal overdose.

“The defendant’s fentanyl trafficking significantly endangered our communities and caused victim N.G. to suffer a tragic overdose,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “While no prosecution can bring victim N.G. back to his family and loved ones, we hope that this case has brought some measure of peace and closure to them, all of whom deserve justice and healing for their devastating loss.”

According to court documents, Peter Andrew Romm, 36, regularly traveled to Baltimore to buy heroin and fentanyl, which he then sold to customers in Northern Virginia. Romm sold the drugs in two forms: enclosed in small plastic capsules and folded in small slips of paper.

Romm’s customers included an individual identified in court documents as N.G. On October 7, 2019, Romm sold fentanyl to N.G. through a middleman, Tyler Huston. N.G. later consumed the fentanyl and fatally overdosed; he was found dead in his home the next morning. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that the cause of N.G.’s death was acute fentanyl poisoning. Text messages recovered from N.G.’s phone indicate that Huston had nonfatally overdosed on drugs obtained from Romm prior to the transaction that resulted in N.G.’s death.

As recently as February 2020, Romm was traveling to Baltimore regularly to buy fentanyl, sometimes with his girlfriend and co-conspirator, Donnetta Ferguson, who aided him in distributing narcotics. On February 11, 2020, Romm was arrested on his way back from Baltimore in possession of approximately 75 capsules of fentanyl. During a post-arrest interview with law enforcement, Romm admitted to selling fentanyl in Northern Virginia, including to N.G. through a middleman. Despite being informed by law enforcement during this interview that N.G. had died of a drug overdose, Romm was arrested again eight days later, along with Ferguson, on his way back from Baltimore with another 72 capsules of fentanyl in his vehicle.

On November 4, 2020, Romm pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and one count of distribution of fentanyl. As part of his plea agreement, Romm admitted that the fentanyl he distributed caused N.G.’s death. Tyler Huston and Donnetta Ferguson also pleaded guilty to charges relating to their roles in the conspiracy.

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; and David M. Rohrer, Fairfax County Interim Chief of Police and Deputy County Executive for Public Safety, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine E. Rumbaugh and former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Karolina Klyuchnikova prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:20-cr-176.

Updated April 21, 2021

Drug Trafficking