WHEELING - Two Wellsburg men have been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly delivering heroin that caused the death of a 22-year-old Brooke County man.
U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II said that Curtis J. Adams, 28, and Justin A. Withers, 28, have been charged with distribution of heroin that led to the death of a Follansbee man in March 2011.
Adams and Withers are also charged with interstate travel in aid of racketeering for allegedly traveling to Steubenville to acquire the heroin and then back to Brooke County to distribute the drug to the victim, Ihlenfeld said.
Because the delivery of heroin is alleged to have caused the death of another, both men face up to life in prison, Ihlenfeld said. They also face up to five years in prison on the interstate travel charge.
"The Northern Panhandle has suffered the loss of an extraordinary number of people to drug overdose deaths over the past several years," Ihlenfeld said. "Whenever we can prove who provided the drugs that caused a drug overdose death, then we're going to be very aggressive in prosecuting those who are responsible."
Adams has appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge James E. Seibert and was released on bond.
Withers is in custody on unrelated West Virginia state charges. Both will appear for their federal arraignments on Friday.
The case was investigated by the Hancock-Brooke-Weirton Drug Task Force and the Follansbee and Wellsburg police departments.