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Press Release

Cleveland Man Charged with Distributing Narcotics that Led to Fatal Overdose

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

CLEVELAND – A Cleveland man was charged in a superseding indictment with distributing narcotics that led to the overdose death of another individual in January 2022.

The superseding indictment charges Rubin Austin, 54, with distributing a heroin, fentanyl and fluorofentanyl mixture to a victim in January 2022 who later ingested the substance, suffered an overdose and died as a result. 

The superseding indictment also charges Austin with additional counts of distribution of heroin, fentanyl, fluorofentanyl and cocaine base (crack); possession with intent to distribute of heroin, fentanyl, fluorofentanyl and cocaine base (crack) and use of a communications facility to facilitate a drug trafficking offense.

According to court documents, in January 2022, officers with the Cleveland Division of Police responded to a residence for reports of an overdose death.  At the scene, officers began an investigation into the incident and determined that the deceased had allegedly purchased  narcotics from an individual identified as Defendant Austin.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after a review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal records, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Cleveland FBI and the Cleveland Division of Police.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth M. Crook and Payum Doroodian.


Daniel Ball

Updated March 5, 2024

Drug Trafficking