Man pleads guilty in deadly heroin overdoses


HENDERSON Co., N.C. (WSPA) — A Michigan man pled guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter after authorities say he shipped heroin to two people who overdosed at a motel in February 2016.

Randy Nead was sentenced to 58 months in prison, District Attorney Greg Newman said in a statement. Nead must serve 32 months of his sentence before he can be considered for parole.

John Matthew Tucker Jr. and Leonard Paul Lefford Jr., both of Arkansas, were found dead in a Henderson County motel room after Tucker did not show up for work on Feb. 12, 2016. At the time, Tucker worked for a pipeline company and Lefford was with him in hopes of getting a job with the same company, according to the statement. Authorities say both men were dead for several hours before one of Tucker’s co-workers found their bodies.  Autopsies showed both men died of “heroin toxicity.” Nead is accused of providing them with with the deadly drug.

Local and state investigators determined that the men were sent heroin overnight by FedEx from a location in Allegan, Michigan.

Newman’s office said Nead sent the heroin and that text messages revealed that Tucker told Nead to hide the heroin inside a valentine shaped candy box for shipping. The box was found in the motel room with their bodies.

Nead was located and arrested in Indiana in June 2016.

“My position is that persons who distribute illegal drugs must own the consequences of their actions,” Newman said. “We are witnessing more opiate and heroin related deaths in our area and I intend to prosecute the individuals who make these inherently dangerous drugs available to anyone. Illegal narcotics destroy families and damage communities.”

“These are not so-called ‘victimless’ crimes. Just ask any mother or father who has a daughter or son struggling with addictions and they will agree with me that there are many people adversely impacted by narcotic distribution and use. I appreciate the dedication by our police and sheriff’s department to aggressively investigate these cases so that the drug dealers can be prosecuted and held accountable,” Newman added.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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