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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Former Fugitive Heroin Dealer Sentenced To Nearly Five Years In Prison

BIRMINGHAM -- A federal judge today sentenced a Birmingham man and former federal fugitive to four years and nine months in federal prison for dealing heroin, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Clay A. Morris.

U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon sentenced PATROPIUS FOSTER, 35, on one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin in Jefferson County between October 2012 and May 2013. The judge also sentenced Foster for two counts of distributing heroin, once on March 19, 2013, and again on April 17, 2013, and on two counts of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking on the March date. Foster pleaded guilty to the charges in July. He has remained in custody since his arrest last year.

Foster was among 49 people indicted in 2013 as part of an ongoing initiative between law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney's Office to attack the supply side of the spiraling heroin problem in north Alabama. Foster remained a fugitive from September 2013, when most of the defendants were arrested, until April 2014 when he was arrested in Atlanta.

Of the 49 people indicted in the 2013 sweep, 40 have pled guilty and one defendant was convicted at trial. Foster brings to 39 the number of those defendants who have been sentenced. One defendant pleaded guilty to selling heroin that caused a death and received a 20-year sentence. The remaining sentences have ranged from probation for first-time offenders to 12 1/2 years for the dealers who qualified as career offenders under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Law enforcement agencies working with DEA in the months-long investigation leading to the 2013 indictments and arrests included the Hoover, Pelham, Gardendale, Vestavia Hills, Tuscaloosa, Hueytown, Bessemer and Pleasant Grove police departments, Marshall County Drug Task Force, Gulf Coast HIDTA Task Force, Alabama Beverage Control Board, Alabama Bureau of Investigation, Jefferson and Shelby County sheriff's offices, and district attorney's offices for Jefferson, Shelby and Tuscaloosa counties and the Bessemer Cutoff. Assistant U.S. Attorney L. James Weil Jr. is prosecuting the cases.

Updated March 19, 2015