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Press Release

Erie Felon Indicted for Fentanyl Death and Possessing Firearm and Ammo

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

ERIE, Pa. - A resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Erie on charges of violating federal drugs and firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The three-count Indictment named Dona Arell Cowans, 37, as the sole defendant.

According to the Indictment presented to the court, Cowans sold a quantity of fentanyl that caused the death of R.R.W. on July 8, 2019. The Indictment also charges Cowans with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of fentanyl on or about July 9, 2019 and possession of a firearm and ammunition while being a convicted felon.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of life imprisonment, a fine of $2,250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul S. Sellers is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated December 10, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses