A Detroit man got a 30-year prison sentence this week for his role in supplying heroin to someone in a drug recovery center.
The heroin was particularly dangerous because it was mixed with fentanyl, an extremely potent and often deadly synthetic opioid. Quite often, heroin users take the drug without knowing what’s in it, and may easily overdose on fentanyl-laced heroin.
Alxletold Gordon, 46, already had several felony convictions for drug offenses.
In September, Gordon pleaded guilty in this case, in which he distributed drugs that led to a 36-year-old man’s death while in treatment. A woman who distributed drugs with Gordon, Lori Ann Pangborn, pleaded guilty late last year and got a 108-month prison sentence (approximately nine years). The crime took place in January 2017.
Of particular concern, in this case, authorities said, was the fact that Gordon and Pangborn distributed the drugs in a drug rehab center, where other opioid addicts were trying hard to get clean.
U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said beating opioid addiction is already very tough, and that people who hand out drugs in such situations “guarantee failure.”
This case was investigated – as many drug distribution cases are these days – by a joint task force of local and national cops, in this case, the Westland, Mich., police department and agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration based in Detroit. Westland is 16 miles west of downtown Detroit and has a population of about 80,000 people.
Pangborn and Gordon were arrested after an undercover police operation. Westland’s police chief, Jeff Jedrusik, praised the efforts of local police in the investigation.
Gordon pleaded guilty to specific charges of distributing a controlled substance resulting in death, as well as possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell it, plus additional charges related to having a firearm, which is illegal for felons. Additional charges apply in cases where drug traffickers are armed.
Detroit and its surrounding metro area have been particularly hard hit by the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy Plancon led the drug agency’s efforts in this investigation.
Gordon pleaded guilty Sept. 18.