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Press Release

Lincoln Woman Sentenced for Distributing Heroin

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

United States Attorney Susan Lehr announced that Lidia Irena Kula, 34, of Lincoln, Nebraska, was sentenced May 14, 2024, in federal court in Lincoln for distribution of heroin. Senior United State District Judge John M. Gerrard sentenced Kula to 132 months’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. After Kula is released from prison, she will begin a 3-year term of supervised release.

On December 27, 2021, Lincoln Police officers and Lincoln Fire and Rescue were dispatched to the area of northwest 12th St. and West Cornhusker in Lincoln following the report of an individual who was unconscious and unresponsive in a ditch.  Officers arrived and contacted three witnesses.  One witness said he was driving by and saw the victim fall down.  He stopped and administered CPR to the victim.  Officers relieved that witness and began life saving measures to include chest compressions, Narcan, applying an AED, and giving mouth to mouth resuscitations.  Lincoln Fire and Rescue arrived shortly thereafter.  On the scene, the victim woke up and was and alert.  Officers searched his person and found a vile of suspected heroin, three syringes, and a spoon with suspected heroin residue.  The victim was taken to Bryan West Hospital.  The victim consented to the search of his phone, and officers found messages between the victim and Kula on Facebook.  Kula and the victim had arranged to meet to purchase two points, typically .1 gram, of heroin for 70 dollars earlier in the day on December 27, 2021.  The lab determined that the glass vial on the victim’s person contained heroin. 

Investigation revealed the victim took a Lyft to a Casey’s convenience store and waited outside until Kula arrived.  The victim gave Kula $70 in exchange for a small glass vial and a bag with syringes in it.  The victim went inside Casey’s and drank the heroin mixed with water.  The victim didn’t remember anything after ingesting the heroin.  Video obtained from Casey’s showed the victim going into the store, into the bathroom, and then exiting the store and walking toward 12th St.  The last video of the victim was at 4:05 pm, and the call for service came at 4:09 pm. 

During later investigation, the victim messaged Kula about how he had overdosed and how he needed to “do half at a time” to prevent a future overdose.  Kula messaged back, “Dude I [expletive] tell you that every time!”   As the investigation continued, an undercover officer made three purchases of methamphetamine from Kula.  On January 14, 2022, the undercover officer bought .5 grams of heroin for $150 from Kula at a Walgreen’s parking lot in Lincoln.  During that purchase, the officer asked whether it was the same heroin the victim overdosed on, which Kula said it was. 

This case was investigated by the Lincoln Police Department.


Lecia Wright - Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney  (402) 661-3700

Updated May 20, 2024

Drug Trafficking