UPDATE: Lusby Man Indicted on Drug Charges, Including the Distribution of Heroin Resulting in Death

September 30, 2014
Russell Edward Johnson, age 23, of Lusby (photo from a previous arrest)

Russell Edward Johnson, age 23, of Lusby (photo from a previous arrest)

UPDATE: Booking Photo added

9/29/14: A federal grand jury has indicted Russell Edward Johnson, age 23, of Lusby, Maryland, today on charges of drug distribution, including one count of distribution of heroin resulting in death.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration – Washington Field Division; Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans; and Calvert County State’s Attorney Laura Martin.

“Heroin is quickly becoming the drug of choice, leaving in its wake countless victims who have succumbed to heroin related overdoses, and in some cases, death. Today, Mr. Johnson is charged with supplying heroin, causing the ultimate, tragic death of an innocent person. Heroin has claimed another casualty: a victim that could have been your brother, your father, or a friend,” said Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration – Washington Field Division. “This investigation was a collaborative effort of DEA and the United States Attorney’s Office, Calvert County Sheriff’s Department and the Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office. Together we send a message that drug dealers will pay the price for their acts. DEA will use all resources at its disposal to investigate and arrest those individuals whose only motivation is greed and who carry with them a complete disregard for human life.”

The four count indictment alleges that on April 10, 2013, Johnson possessed oxycodone with the intent to distribute and that on July 11 and July 18, 2013, Johnson distributed heroin. Finally, the indictment alleges that on July 18, 2013, Johnson distributed heroin and a person died as a result of using that heroin.

Johnson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison for distribution of heroin resulting in death; and a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of the two counts of distribution of heroin and for possession of oxycodone with the intent to distribute. An initial appearance has not yet been scheduled. Johnson is currently detained on related state charges.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DEA, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, and Assistant State’s Attorney Lisa Ridge of the Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office, for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Arun G. Rao and Daniel C. Gardner, who are prosecuting the case.

Russell Edward Johnson, age 23, of Lusby (photo from a previous arrest)

Russell Edward Johnson, age 23, of Lusby (photo from a previous arrest)

33 Responses to UPDATE: Lusby Man Indicted on Drug Charges, Including the Distribution of Heroin Resulting in Death

  1. wetheppl on September 29, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Why is he liable for the actions of the dead?

    • Eric on September 30, 2014 at 7:23 am

      I agree with you that I disagree the court outcome. If that is the case then we should charge many doctors with murders because they RX’d their patients with chemical pills, and then they happened to overdose themselves. That will drop our insurance rate much lower with this.

    • anonymous on September 30, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      Because it’s illegal and if he never would of supplied it they wouldnt have died.

      • Anonymous on September 30, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        Bull. He was an addict and would have found another source.

      • Eric on September 30, 2014 at 10:11 pm

        Look here: It is legal for doctors to RX patients with chemical pills, but it is not legal for patients to overdose themselves. Don’t you see something wrong in that picture? Doctors do make money from RX’ing to patients for the pills, conflict of interest? Does it ring you the bell?

    • semantics on September 30, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      He’s not. No one is liable for the actions of the dead, probably because being dead really results in no actions whatsoever. Johnson is liable for his own actions and omissions that resulted in the death of a another.

      • wetheppl on October 1, 2014 at 8:17 pm

        “dead” should have read “decedent”; what omissions? Is he liable for a failure to warn?

        • semantics on October 2, 2014 at 10:01 am

          Regardless of personal opinion, he is liable for distributing a drug, in this case heroin, that resulted in the death of another. The law is pretty specific on that point. I was pointing out the absurdity of your question about anyone being liable for the actions of the dead, even if you would have used “decedent” you were still asking if someone was responsible for the actions of the dearly departed. My name should have given you a hint.

  2. TRUTH HURTZ on September 29, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Because he contributed to their death, just as if a person committed suicide with a gun owned by him.

  3. cheywolf on September 30, 2014 at 8:25 am

    I agree no one put a gun to the addicts head. The addict chose to do heroin and the result was death. Its not like a suicide the dealer didn’t intend for the addict to die.
    There needs to be more counseling available to addicts.

  4. Anonymous on September 30, 2014 at 11:41 am

    From what I understand (and I could be wrong), the heroin was cut with a chemical that caused the man’s death, not just the fact that he sold heroin to someone and the person just happened to die.

    • Anonymous on September 30, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      If this is the case, which I believe it is… Mr. Johnson didn’t cook or cut the heroin. He didn’t shove it in the deceased’s veins. He supplied it, probably at the request of the deceased. Mr. Paddy’s death is very tragic and unfortunate but making Mr. Johnson responsible for Mr. Paddy’s choice to use heroin is not helping anybody. Mr. Johnson was more than likely an addict himself. Let’s solve the real problem and find the big players who cook up and supplied Mr. Johnson with the heroin. Food for thought.

      • ezg1 on September 30, 2014 at 10:55 pm

        Finally someone exhibits some sound common sense thoughts! Well Said Anonymous!

  5. Anonymous on September 30, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    They should have locked up his worthless junky girlfriend too.

    • Anonymous on October 1, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      Which one?

  6. Anonymous on September 30, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Life is about choices, period! God, or a higher being; your choice gave us all a very powerful gift and it is called: FREE WILL. Just say’n

  7. LueLue on September 30, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Innocent person?. Lmao!.Really? You call a Junkie a innocent person! Wow! I guess when that junkie comes and robs you or steals your stuff to pawn he won’t be labeled as a “Inocent person” after all!.

  8. LueLue on September 30, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    If you wanna put a dent in to this matter shut down the pill mills! Stop wasting tax payers money and start focusing on the real criminals!

  9. heather on October 1, 2014 at 7:10 am

    How can someone who willingly buys heroine be considered an innocent person and not be held the least bit coutable for their choice to purchase and use the drug?

  10. Judge me if you will on October 1, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Are you all really defending him? Regardless of he cut the jerkin or not, he supplied it to someone and it ended their life. He needs to be taken off the streets as do all others buying, selling and transporting these drugs into he county. No one is saying he forced it into the boys arm but just like any other crime you commit and are involved you get guilty by association. In this case someone died as a result of Russell’s actions. What if that were your brother, father, nephew, cousin or son? Would you not seek justice for them as well? Don’t judge something you know nothing about. Russell was also an addict himself and going to jail was the best possible thing for not only Calvert county, but for Russell himself! He wouldn’t have been able to be clean without forceful help. Knowing him personally and being apart of his life while he lived the way he did I know he was a menace to society and a danger to him self and everyone he came into contact with. You shouldn’t be so quick to not blame him what what you don’t know all the facts. Wise up people, ANYONE supplying or doing drugs getting off the streets is what we need in this county. I have kids and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a drug induced addict to hit me and my kids while we are driving because they are high and that was another fact of what was happening in this case.

    • cheywolf on October 1, 2014 at 8:31 am

      He didn’t put the heroin in his veins he was just a supplier. The addict would have gone somewhere else to buy. He didn’t kill him, he killed himself by choosing to do heroin. I am sorry for the loss of life, may he rest in peace.

    • Anonymous on October 1, 2014 at 8:50 am

      I do know him. Yes he needed help. Yes he did something wrong because he was an addict however he was not a big time supplier — tragically he was an addict just like Jacob Paddy. How about making the big suppliers who cook and supply the heroin responsibe! Again Mr. Johnson indeed was an addict and needed help himself. But the law which gives the possibility of Mr. Johnson to spend 20 or more years of his life in jail was created to take the real dealers off the street. Plus it is totally ridiculous to make one addict responsible for the choice of another addict to use heroin. Mr. Paddy asked to be supplied with heroin because he was a heroin addict. All tragic! But the problem will not be solved by sending Mr. Johnson to jail for 20 years.

  11. Bluetooth on October 1, 2014 at 9:38 am

    It’s amazing to me that there are so many people willing to excuse these people. I think everyone involved in this chain of events bears responsibility for their crimes. ANYONE who brings this poison into our community should pay a very steep price. If this man is proven guilty in a court of law, he should spend many, many years locked away in prison!

  12. Joe on October 1, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    This is a good thing. A criminal junkie is dead, and a dealer is off the steets for 20 years. Sounds to me like a win-win for the citizens of Calvert County. Two less criminals around to break into homes and cars, steal from stores and individuals, etc.

  13. T on October 1, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    This is utterly ridiculous. Yes he is guilty of selling dope,but to blame him for the death of an addict is outrageous. These cops are simply making a statement, but to ruin a young man’s life with a 20 year bid to send a message is wrong. The police know where the dope comes from but they’re just to lazy or incompetent to make those arrests.

    • JusticeIsn'tServed ..||__/\--""""''a on October 1, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      Excuses excuses..Naturally you blame the cops when you should be thanking them for getting that trash off the streets. Johnson must have been your supplier since you seem to be so pissed off about his conviction. Nobody forced him to sell drugs just like nobody forced the victim to use them. Life is mostly about choices and if you’re going to make stupid ones you deserve to pay the consequences for them. So you’re saying that it’s fine that he was a drug dealer until he got caught? That’s the kind of mentality that will make matters worse. Making excuses for drug dealers is really pathetic.

    • Bluetooth on October 1, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      The cops investigate the case. They take their evidence to a prosecutor and the prosecutor takes it to a federal grand jury. The prosecutors and the grand jury decide what charges to go forward with. Everyone involved in this case should be punished. One has already paid the ultimate price, he died as a low life junkie!

      • Anonymous on October 2, 2014 at 8:26 am

        So law abiding citizens should be punished? That makes a TON of sense. There are really some very moronic people in this world. The law is the law.

        • Bluetooth on October 2, 2014 at 1:43 pm

          Exactly where did I say that law abiding ciitizens should be punished? The Junkie is dead and yes, they should fully prosecute the dealer. Is the dealer the one you consider “law abiding” because I don’t see anyone else?

          • Anonymous on October 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm

            I misread what you said I guess. I thought when you said, “Everyone involved in this case should be punished”, that you were saying the people who convicted this guy should be punished. My mistake.

  14. Anonymous on October 2, 2014 at 8:19 am

    It is the law, THAT is why he gets blamed for the death of another person. The cops are NOT the ones who decide that. Just like if you were to shoot someone who was unarmed and robbing your home, you would get charged with murder, BECAUSE in Maryland, that is the LAW. Follow the law, and you stay out of trouble. In this case, unlike the robbing example I gave, I believe that it is fairly easy to follow the law. Once you get hooked, sure, its hard to get off the stuff, but, that is why you avoid the dumb crap in the first place. Why in the world, anyone is stupid enough to do these drugs that they KNOW can kill you is beyond me.

    Also, I was on the Grand Jury a while back and we were explained this kind of situation. The person who supplies the drugs knows full well that it CAN cause death. In other words, if someone sells the drugs and the person they sold to dies, they are responsible for that death, plain and simple.

    • Anonymous on October 3, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Then where are all the results if this year- long investigation showing where the real dealers are who supplied Mr. Johnson with Heroin. I am not saying Mr. Johnson is innocent but he was a heroin addict not a big time dealer/supplier. Yes he deserves punishment but not 20 years because he and the deceased were “friends” and they both used heroin. It could just as easily have turned out the other way, where Mr. Johnson was given Heroin by Mr. Paddy! Again, why after a year of investigation do we not know who supplied Mr. Johnson with heroin? .Anybody who thinks taking Mr. Johnson off the street will solve the heroin problem in this county is point blank ignorant and closed minded. Because guess what the real dealers are still out there targeting other unfortunate heroin addicts just like Mr. Johnson who they will supply with heroin to give to others to support their own unfortunate habit! Furthermore Mr. Paddy is not as the article states “an innocent victim.” If he is an innocent victim so is Mr. Johnson. Lets get off our rears and instead if targeting a single heroine addict and target the big players in this death game!

    • Anonymous on October 3, 2014 at 8:46 am

      Have you done research on this issue at all. People have turned to heroin as a cheaper way to get their fix from prescription drugs that are sometimes prescribed for legitimate reasons and sometimes over prescribed by careless doctors. These people get hooked on drugs like Percocet then sell them to others to afford that habit. Then before you know it all those same addicts turn to heroin because they can’t access or afford the Percocet. Then all the addicts start using each other to obtain heroin. It is a terrible vicious cycle ruining the lives of many of our young people. So why the hell aren’t we utilizing resources to not only get help to the addicts but find where the heroin is coming from instead of thinking by sending one 23 year old to jail for 20 years because he gave another addict, at the other addicts request heroin. I’m pretty sure the real intention of that law was not simply aimed at people like Mr. Johnson.