A Baltimore man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Thursday after he pleaded guilty to selling heroin near an Annapolis public housing complex in 2017 that killed a Bowie woman.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote in a news release that Coron Demon Johnson, 25, was sentenced Thursday after he pleaded guilty to distribution of heroin April 4.
However, while Johnson, aka “Savage,” admitted in his plea agreement that he sold heroin to a Bowie woman in 2017 who was later found dead of a drug overdose, prosecutors dropped a charge that directly tied Johnson to the woman’s death.
Prosecutors originally charged Johnson with “distribution of a controlled substance with death resulting” in 2018, a federal charge that looked to tie Johnson to the woman’s death in August 2017.
In his plea agreement, Johnson admitted selling the unnamed woman 0.2 of a gram worth of heroin at the CVS near the Newtowne 20 public housing complex in Annapolis on Aug. 11, 2017. The woman was found dead in her bedroom in Bowie a day later, the agreement reads.
However, the charge was downgraded to distribution of controlled substances before Johnson’s plea. His attorney did not return a call for comment Thursday.
The office wrote that Johnson was arrested after an investigating officer, upon seeing that Johnson texted the dead woman’s phone after she died, set up a sting to purchase $139 of heroin from him.
Johnson admitted in his plea agreement that he’d been selling heroin since he was 19 years old and that he sells mostly at the Annapolis public housing complex.
According to the plea agreement, when officers set up the sting and pulled him over in Bowie on Aug. 12, 2017, Johnson had two children in the car and “white powder residue on his pants.”
Tying overdose deaths to homicide-related charges is becoming an increasingly common tactic by federal and state prosecutors across the country as law enforcement continues to tackle the nationwide opioid addiction problem.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh has come out in favor of the practice, saying that charging alleged drug dealers with manslaughter is appropriate when they sell fatal drugs “in a way that’s grossly negligent.”