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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Man who mailed deadly fentanyl to Seattle area woman arrested in Pennsylvania

Defendant charged with distributing fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl which caused January 2019 death of his ex-girlfriend

Seattle – A 35-year-old Pennsylvania man was arrested January 14, 2020, in Philadelphia, charged with distributing fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl to the Western District of Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  The criminal complaint alleges that JESSE S. DITTMAR sent multiple envelopes containing the drug to his former girlfriend who had moved to her brother’s home in Seattle.  The former girlfriend was found dead on January 29, 2019, less than 24 hours after she texted DITTMAR that she had done some of the drugs that arrived in the mail on January 28, 2019.

DITTMAR  appeared today on the charges in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and ultimately will appear in the Western District of Washington.

According to the criminal complaint, the 32-year-old victim broke up with DITTMAR and moved to her brother’s home in Seattle in the fall of 2018.    Despite DITTMAR’s repeated attempts to text the victim, the victim cut off contact with DITTMAR until December 2018.  During December 2018 and January 2019, DITTMAR and the victim were in contact and the texts make clear he was sending her drugs enclosed in greeting cards.  Following the victim’s death, multiple greeting cards and packaging materials for drugs were found in the victim’s bedroom.  The King County Medical Examiner determined the victim died from acute drug intoxication including fentanyl.

Distribution of fentanyl is punishable by up to twenty years in prison.

The charges contained in the criminal complaint are only allegations.  A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) with assistance from the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Fire Department.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lyndsie Schmalz.

dittmar_complaint.pdf

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Contact: 
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.
Updated January 15, 2020