Fentanyl dealers plead guilty in relation to overdose death of Oklahoma man
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Wichita Falls drug dealer and his ex-girlfriend who sold fentanyl to 27-year-old man who overdosed and died in June 2020 have plead guilty to drug crimes, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.
Lionel DeSaun Henderson, 33, and his former girlfriend, Shameka Tanee Mason, 29, were first charged in July. Ms. Mason pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and Mr. Henderson pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
“Few drug traffickers dealing fentanyl-laced pills intend to take a life —but inevitably, some do. Just two milligrams of fentanyl can be deadly,” said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham. “Nothing will ever make up for the loss of this young man’s future. We hope, however, that his family and friends will take comfort in the knowledge that these two dealers have been brought to justice.”
“The guilty pleas are yet another example of consequences of actions like those of Mr. Henderson and Ms. Mason,” said Eduardo A. Chavez, Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Dallas Field Division. “They will now spend years in jail because of the excellent work by law enforcement throughout the region. Nothing can bring back the lives lost but we can work together to avoid future ones.”
In court documents, the pair admits they knowingly sold counterfeit oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl to an individual who later sold them to his 27-year-old cousin, J.D.K. J.D.K. split the drugs with his coworker. On June 12, 2020, both J.D.K. and his coworker overdosed; the coworker received medical attention and recovered, but J.D.K. died of drug toxicity.
During an interview at a Denton hospital, the coworker told investigators that he and J.D.K. split what appeared to be a 30mg oxycodone tablet. He said some of the remaining pills were stored at J.DK.’s home in Graham, Oklahoma. Agents searched the bedroom and recovered one round blue tablet marked M/30, three green rectangle tablets marked S/90/3, and one pink capsule with illegible markings. The blue M/30 – which appeared identical to brand name oxycodone – instead tested positive for butyryl fentanyl.
Agents then cultivated a confidential source who identified Lionel Henderson as the source of the blue M/30s. He went through Mr. Henderson’s girlfriend, Shameka Mason, to arrange a meeting with an undercover agent at Ms. Mason’s residence in Wichita Falls. On June 25, agents met with Mr. Henderson and Ms. Mason and purchased five M/30 tablets, which later tested positive for fentanyl and acetaminophen:
They then executed a search warrant of Mr. Henderson’s home, where they recovered 497 blue m/30s that later tested positive for fentanyl and acetaminophen, 1,035 multicolored tablets that later tested positive for ecstasy, and multiple firearms, including one that was stolen.
A month later, agents interviewed Ms. Mason, who admitted that she and Mr. Henderson had been dealing illicit substances in December 2018. They began with alprazolam, or “bars,” then escalated to ecstasy, and later to M/30s, which she called “percs,” in December 2019. She claimed she did not know where Mr. Henderson obtained the pills, but admitted they sold the pills for $25 apiece.
In plea papers, Mr. Henderson admitted that he had been selling fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills since March 2020.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division, the Carter County Sheriff’s Office, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney P.J. Meitl is prosecuting the case.
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