Drug Dealer Who Sold Fentanyl That Killed Marine Vet With PTSD Gets Life In Prison

news

A Kalamazoo, Michigan, man will serve the rest of his life in prison for selling fentanyl that killed a man.


Deondray Christopher Abrams, 26, was found guilty Wednesday, Nov. 28, of distributing fentanyl on March 21, 2017, which resulted in the death of Brandon Jay Demko, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who was suffering from severe PTSD, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Due to Abrams' prior conviction, he faces a statutory mandatory term of life in prison when he is sentenced April 8.

Demko, 33, purchased what he and friend Robert Larsen thought was heroin from Abrams on March 21, 2017. They went back to Larsen's home, where Larsen injected Demko and himself, he testified at Abrams' preliminary examination.

Larsen testified he lost consciousness, then awoke 20 minutes later and found Demko blue and unresponsive. He shot Naloxone, meant to reverse overdoses, into his friend's nose and when nothing happened, he called 911, according to a police report. Emergency responders arrived but could not save Demko.

A federal jury convicted Abrams of distributing the fentanyl that killed Demko after a two-day trial.

"Fentanyl is increasingly available in Western Michigan," U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge said in a press release. "Drug dealers are mixing fentanyl with heroin and, as in this case, selling fentanyl as heroin. Fentanyl is so much more powerful than heroin that opioid deaths have risen in the past few years. The U.S. Attorney's Office will continue to aggressively prosecute opioid drug dealers whose product results in death."

———

©2018 Kalamazoo Gazette, Mich. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

WATCH NEXT:

Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.

Read More Show Less
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."

Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Read More Show Less

Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."

"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."

First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.

"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."

Read More Show Less

D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.

"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."

Read More Show Less