BALTIMORE — A 24-year-old heroin dealer linked to 27 overdoses — nine of them fatal — has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
Karon Elijah Peoples pleaded guilty in July to taking part in a drug ring that distributed between nine and 10 kilos of heroin in Baltimore from 2015 until early this year, federal prosecutors said.
Investigators began investigating Peoples in late 2017 after learning that he was supplying significant quantities of heroin to customers throughout Maryland.
Undercover officers bought drugs from Peoples on several occasions and a subsequent raid of his stash house in December netted 900 grams of heroin; $405,000 in cash, a money counter and digital scales. Officers also recovered 68 grams of heroin from his car.
As part of the haul, investigators discovered 49 cell phones that Peoples and his crew had been using. A search of the phones’ records revealed that Peoples had been contacted by 27 people who later suffered overdoses. Nine of those people died.
The victims hailed from Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, prosecutors said.
Investigators were unable to prove that Peoples had sold the people the drugs on which they overdosed, so he only pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin. Peoples was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years in federal prison.
“Heroin dealers like Karon Peoples sell death and despair. Heroin is one of the leading causes of death in Maryland—and many victims are teenagers,” said Maryland U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “We will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners to attack this problem from all sides to reduce overdose deaths.