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Press Release

U.S. Attorney's Office Conducts Law Enforcement Training On Overdose Investigations And Prosecutions

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Today, the U.S. Attorney’s Office conducted a training in Charlotte for law enforcement agencies, on the investigation and prosecution of fatal and near-fatal overdose cases, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. The training is part of a broader effort by federal prosecutors to combat the opioid epidemic and ensure justice for victims and their families.

“Tackling the opioid crisis requires a comprehensive approach,” said U.S. Attorney King. “Today’s training provides law enforcement with the tools and knowledge they need to thoroughly investigate overdose cases, so those responsible for distributing lethal substances are held accountable in a court of law. But today’s training goes beyond enforcement. It’s also about saving lives and supporting our communities.”

Over the past decade, overdose deaths caused by powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl have devastated communities nationwide, including in Western North Carolina. To build on recent courtroom successes and enhance the investigation and prosecution of fatal and near-fatal overdose cases, the U.S. Attorney’s Office developed today’s training, which is the first of its kind for the district. During the training, members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Drug and Violent Crime Unit gave participants a comprehensive review of the legal tools that can be utilized to investigate and prosecute overdose cases, including applicable federal and state statutes, investigative avenues and resources, the challenges and complexities associated with the investigation of these cases, and tried-and-true methods to enhance investigative methods to ensure a successful outcome.

The audience consisted of investigators representing 17 federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies throughout the Western District. A portion of the training analyzed the successful prosecution of recent fatal and near-fatal overdose cases prosecuted by federal prosecutors in Charlotte and Asheville. For example, in January 2024, two men were sentenced to prison for distributing fentanyl that resulted in a victim’s death. In April 2024, a woman was charged with selling fentanyl that led to an overdose death. In April 2023, a woman was sentenced to prison for distributing a substance that contained fentanyl that caused two near-fatal overdoses. The training concluded with a panel of experienced investigators discussing their first-hand experiences in successfully investigating these cases. 

Additional trainings will be scheduled in the later part of the year. Law enforcement interested in participating in future training sessions may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Law Enforcement Coordinator at 704-344-6222.


Updated June 20, 2024

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