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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Winchester Man Sentenced For Distributing Heroin That Lead To Two Deaths

Thomas Breeden To Serve 14 Years In Federal Prison

HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA – A Winchester, Va., man, who previously admitted to distributing the heroin that caused the overdose deaths of his father and his father’s girlfriend in June 2013, was sentenced this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Winchester.

Following an investigation by members of the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, Thomas Allen Breeden, 27, pled guilty to one count of distributing heroin. Today in District court, Breeden was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison and five years of supervised release thereafter.

“This case is another tragic example of the rising tide of heroin abuse we are experiencing in this district and around the country,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “Law enforcement agencies have combined resources to more effectively target and prosecute the distribution of this dangerous drug. But enforcement alone won’t be enough to reverse this dangerous trend. As we bring these cases, we must also educate the community about the dangers of heroin and provide viable treatment solutions to those struggling with addiction. A comprehensive approach to the problem is essential to impact change and reverse the trend of destruction we have seen.”

Breeden previously admitted to driving to Baltimore, Md., on June 10, 2013 and purchasing 1 gram of heroin for $125. He took that heroin to the Winchester Budget Motel where he met his father and his father’s girlfriend. All three used the heroin purchased by Breeden. After leaving the motel room for a short period of time, Breeden returned to find both his father and the girlfriend unconscious. Breeden attempted to revive both parties by splashing cold water on their faces and wrapping cold, wet towels around their necks. With no success, Breeden called 911 at 10:06 p.m. First responders arrived and declared both parties dead at 10:17 p.m. It was later determined that both parties died from “adverse effects of heroin.”

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force, which includes the Virginia State Police, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Task Force includes law enforcement from the counties of Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah, Warren and Page as well as the cities and towns of Winchester, Front Royal and Strasburg. Assistant United States Attorney Donald Wolthuis prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated April 10, 2015