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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

Thursday, January 10, 2013

In Oregon's First Trial on Charges of Distribution of Heroin Resulting in Death, Defendant Found Guilty of Distributing Heroin that Resulted in the Death of a 17 Year Old Milwaukie High School Student

PORTLAND, Ore. - On January 10, 2013, U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones found Aleksey Dzyuba, 43, of Milwaukie, Oregon, guilty of distributing heroin on March 31, 2011 to 17-year-old Toviy Sinyayev. After ingesting the heroin, Toviy lapsed into a coma and three days later died, shortly after being removed from life support at Doernbechers Childrens Hospital. The charges against Dzuyba were brought under a federal statute that enhances the penalty for drug distribution to a maximum sentence of life and a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years, if the use of the drugs results in the death or serious physical injury of another person. Federal cases have been prosecuted under this statute in Oregon since 2004 resulting in approximately 30 convictions pursuant to guilty pleas. In addition to Dzyuba's case, approximately 25 defendants are currently pending heroin distribution-resulting-in-death charges in the District of Oregon under the same statute. The case of U.S. v. Dzyuba is the first heroin overdose case to go to trial in the District of Oregon.

The federal charges stem from an investigation led by local law enforcement agencies including the Milwaukie Police Department, the Clackamas County Inter-Agency Task Force with the assistance of the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office.

"While the defendant's conviction will never account for the tragic loss of this young life, it does bring us some sense of Justice" said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. "Sadly, this is only one of a growing number of opiate overdoses in Oregon. The judgment of the court in this case should serve as a deterrent to other purveyors of this deadly drug. The message should be clear: if you are anywhere in the chain of supply of a drug that leads to death, you are responsible for that loss of life and you will be held to account."

Milwaukie Police Chief Bob Jordan said, "Today's finding of guilty against Aleksey Dzyuba sends the important message that criminals who traffic in heroin will be held accountable for the human tragedy they cause. This case embodies the level of federal-local cooperation needed to bring these criminals to justice."

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen Bickers and Special Assistant United States Attorney Steve Mygrant.

Updated January 29, 2015