Pair Who Delivered Fatal Dose of Heroin Sentenced to 42 Months in Prison
Federal Prosecutors Join with Tribal Leaders to Combat Opioid Epidemic in Indian Country
Two men who were involved in the delivery of a fatal dose of heroin to a young member of the Quileute Tribe were each sentenced June 12, 2017, to 42 months in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. HUGH BROWN, 60 and EDWARD FOSTER, 56, and co-defendant Casey Marie Ward, 28, sold heroin to 28-year-old Felisha Jackson on September 5, 2015. Moments after that sale, Jackson was found unresponsive by her 9-year-old daughter. Paramedics tried to save Jackson, but she died a few days later at a hospital. Social media records reveal that WARD had reached out to Jackson, asking if she knew anyone interested in buying drugs. FOSTER obtained the heroin the three were selling, and BROWN provided the transportation, driving them onto Quileute Tribal land. Speaking of heroin at BROWN’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle said, “This is a dangerous drug. People do die—and in increasing numbers—from it, and if you’re going to be involved in the distribution of this drug, you can expect lives will be lost . . . you can expect to go to prison.”
“The heroin epidemic is taking a particularly heavy toll in Tribal communities so we are working closely with our Tribal partners to do our part to combat opioid abuse,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “Cases involving small amounts of heroin are not routinely charged in federal court, but in appropriate cases where dealing on Tribal lands leads to death, we are committed to seeking just punishment. As Tribes work to provide treatment and wellness resources, law enforcement must do its part to deter those who target Tribal communities and cause tragedies like those in this case.”
According to records filed in the case, Felisha Jackson had struggled to stay clean for her three small children. Another drug user said the heroin sold by Ward, BROWN, and FOSTER proved particularly powerful. After Jackson’s daughter found her mother unresponsive, she got her grandfather, and he called 911 and performed CPR in an ultimately futile effort to save his daughter.
Members of the Quileute Tribal Council attended the sentencing hearings. In a written statement to the Court, the Tribe said “[t]he Quileute Tribe is attempting to stem the tide of substance abuse in several ways, including coordinating with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies . . . providing chemical dependency treatment, and working on several initiatives to promote wellness and prevent addiction.”
Ward was sentenced to 42 months in prison on June 5, 2017.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Quileute Tribal Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Manheim.