DALLAS — Two confessed heroin dealers were sentenced Monday in federal court to lengthy federal prison sentences following the drug-related deaths of at least six people.
These sentences were announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. The Irving and Grapevine (Texas) police departments led this investigation, with assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Misael Perla, aka "Irving" and "Weasal," 26, of Dallas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey to 300 months in federal prison. Perla pleaded guilty in January 2014 to two counts of possessing heroin with intent to distribute, which caused the death of victims Alexandra Julia Moreno, 20, of Irving, Texas, in July 2012, and Cassidy Seward, 18, of Grapevine, Texas, in August 2012.
Hugo Sanchez, aka "Juice," 25, also of Dallas, was sentenced by Judge Godbey to an aggregate sentence of 360 months in federal prison. Sanchez pleaded guilty in April 2014 to seven counts of a superseding indictment including:
- one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance;
- possessing heroin with intent to distribute;
- distributing heroin to a person under age 21;
- possessing cocaine with intent to distribute;
- possessing heroin with intent to distribute; possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute;
- possessing a firearm by a prohibited person; and
- possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense.
Although Sanchez did not admit his role in providing the narcotics that resulted in several overdose deaths, the Court heard evidence that Sanchez provided narcotics that were responsible for at least three known overdose deaths in 2011 and 2012.
"Often drug users are seen as victims of their own choices. Today, however, in federal court, two drug dealers who preyed upon those addictions, faced the families who have been forever harmed because of their actions," said U.S. Attorney Saldaña. "While we cannot replace the young lives that were lost to heroin and other dangerous drugs, this office will continue to hold those accountable who make those poisons available in our communities."
According to documents filed in the case, Perla admitted that on July 16, 2013, he knowingly distributed heroin to Ms. Moreno, a woman he had recently met at a club. Perla provided the heroin to Ms. Moreno while she was staying with him at his mother's home and he watched as she used the heroin in his presence. Later that evening and into the next morning, Perla attempted to wake Ms. Moreno, and he became concerned that she may have overdosed. He put her into the bed of a truck, drove to Baylor Medical Center at Irving and left her body with medical personnel at the emergency room. Ms. Moreno was pronounced dead shortly after her arrival at the hospital, and a subsequent autopsy report concluded that she "died as the result of the toxic effects of heroin."
Perla also admitted in the factual resume that he had a relationship with Cassidy Seward, to whom he knowingly supplied heroin. After returning home one morning in August 2012, Ms. Seward used heroin provided by Perla and methamphetamine from Sanchez. After her family found her unresponsive, paramedics arrived and transported Ms. Seward to the hospital, where she was soon pronounced dead. A subsequent autopsy report concluded that she died from the "mixed drug toxicity" of heroin and methamphetamine.
According to documents filed in the case, Hugo Sanchez admitted possessing heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine with the intent to further distribute, as well as possessing numerous firearms in furtherance of his drug-trafficking activities. Additional documents filed in the case tied Sanchez's narcotics to the 2011 and 2012 overdose deaths of Robert Nugent II, Henry Wiley II, and Solina Marin, all residents of the DFW Metroplex.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Schall, Northern District of Texas prosecuted this case.