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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Atlanta drug dealer charged under Operation SCOPE for distributing heroin that resulted in an overdose death

ATLANTA – Donquell Weddington has been indicted on federal charges of distributing heroin to an individual which resulted in serious injury and death, as well as three additional counts of distributing heroin and cocaine in 2017 and 2018.  This case was presented as part of Operation SCOPE. 

“Weddington’s alleged heroin distribution led to a drug overdose which resulted in a death in our community,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “Operation SCOPE does not just apply to those who prescribe opioids, it also targets drug traffickers who allegedly distribute heroin, fentanyl, or opioids that cause death or serious injury to users. We have a zero tolerance for those who destroy lives through the distribution of drugs like heroin.”

“In this case, the death of a person addicted to heroin strikes at the core of this country’s opioid epidemic,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division.  “Donquell Weddington allegedly provided the victim in this case with a deadly dose of heroin. The mission of DEA is unwavering--we combat drug traffickers by investigating and prosecuting those who criminally distribute drugs, which ultimately cause immeasurable damage and even death to those in our communities. This case is a perfect example of how the law enforcement community and the U.S. Attorney’s Office work together to remove such criminals from its streets.”

“The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is proud to partner with local, state, and federal agencies in battling the opioid/heroin epidemic,” said GBI Director Vernon Keenan.  “This indictment serves as notice that drug dealers will be held accountable for the consequences of the dangerous drugs they sell.”

“We will not stand by and allow these criminals distributing drugs throughout our city to do so unchecked,” said Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields.  “The relationship we have with our local, state and federal partners is invaluable and with them, we will continue the fight against the distribution of dangerous drugs in our communities.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: On the morning of April 10, 2017, Donquell Weddington allegedly sold heroin to an individual after days of negotiating the deal by telephone. Later that day, the buyer suffered a drug overdose in the lobby of an office building in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia. Paramedics transported the person to Piedmont Hospital where the individual was treated for symptoms related to a heroin overdose.

The person was released from the hospital later that evening, and proceeded to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport intent on catching a flight to New York. Instead, the individual collapsed in the T-Gate Concourse of the airport and died the following morning from a heroin overdose.

Months later, Weddington allegedly sold heroin and cocaine on three separate occasions in the Northern District of Georgia.

Donquell Weddington, 24, of Atlanta, Georgia, will be arraigned at a later date.  Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the DEA, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Atlanta Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Hartigan is prosecuting the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site: www.justthinktwice.gov.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Updated April 3, 2018