WILMINGTON — A local drug dealer was convicted of death by distribution yesterday in New Hanover County Superior Court.
Johnnie Jones, 43, faces up to 120 months in prison after he admitted to providing fentanyl-laced heroin to the victim, Edward Henschel, who later died of an overdose. Judge Frank Jones handed down the sentence for the Class C felony.
“Thanks to the superb investigatory actions of the detectives with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office in this case, an individual has been held accountable in the State of North Carolina for selling deadly fentanyl,” Assistant District Attorney Jerry Hannant said.
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office responded to a welfare check on Aug. 8, 2021, at Henschel’s residence, where they found him unresponsive and suffering from a heroin overdose. An autopsy confirmed his death was due to fentanyl-induced toxicity.
The three-month investigation by the New Hanover County Vice and Narcotics Division led to Jones, who was arrested and charged with death by distribution, three counts of selling/distributing heroin, three counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or distribute heroin, and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. Per the DA’s press release, Jones confessed to the sale and took responsibility for his actions in court, according to a press release.
According to the sheriff’s office, a second individual, Mackenzie Gaskins, was also arrested and charged with death by distribution and sell/deliver heroin for her involvement in the overdose death.
“We fought for this law and a case like this highlights the reason why it is so necessary,” District Attorney Ben David said.
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