From the Trussville Tribune staff reports
HUNTSVILLE – Federal agents today arrested a Huntsville woman for distributing the synthetic opioid fentanyl that resulted in a death, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bret Hamilton.
DEA agents arrested Ashley Danielle Smith, 30, at her Huntsville apartment on a one-count federal indictment charging her with distributing fentanyl on Nov. 15, 2017, that resulted in the death of a 25-year old male. The grand jury returned the indictment against Smith last Wednesday.
“The Department of Justice has marshaled forces to fight the opioid crisis that continues to claim lives and ravage families in America,” Town said. “Fentanyl is lethal in minute doses, and as dealers add it to more and more drugs, it is causing both fatal and non-fatal overdoses. Our message to the drug dealers could not be more clear…cause an overdose and go to federal prison.”
“A very small amount of fentanyl is a lethal dose, whether it is ingested or absorbed through the skin. It is important that the public is aware of the danger of this powerful and potentially lethal drug,” Hamilton said. “DEA is committed to working with our local and federal law enforcement partners, investigating and arresting those who distribute this dangerous drug, especially when that distribution results in a death,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bret Hamilton.
The penalty for distributing a controlled substance that results in death is 20 years to life in prison and a maximum $1,000,000 fine.
DEA investigated the case in partnership with the Huntsville Police Department and the Madison County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Becher Sr. is prosecuting.
An indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.