‘King of Death’: NJ drug dealer gets life in prison for running heroin and fentanyl ring
Breaking News Apr 26, 2018
‘King of Death’: NJ drug dealer gets life in prison for running heroin and fentanyl ring

New Jersey-based Kenneth Stuart, notorious as Bones, was convicted for coordinating, leading, and supplying a fentanyl and heroin trafficking conspiracy. On April 24, 2018, he was sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison. The 44-year-old worked as the source of supply for a heroin and fentanyl drug distribution ring based in Virginia from March to December 2016. The ring was led by Erskine “June” Dawson, Jr. a Chesapeake ringleader, said reports based on court documents.

The court order came months after the last hearing in January, when Stuart pleaded guilty to his involvement in the trafficking of two of the deadliest drugs in several areas of Virginia, especially on Hamilton roads. This was around a week before his scheduled trial for 16 felony charges. During the period, he had supplied between three and 10 kilograms of the drugs, which were often hidden in stuffed animal toys and smuggled via commercial buses. He had managed the activities with the help of accomplices based out of different places between New Jersey and Virginia. All seven of his co-conspirators were also sentenced to a combined 122 years in prison.

Stuart’s attitude goes beyond callousness

Stuart’s reaction to the death of people who used his drugs left the court speechless. Rather than being remorseful or fearing consequences, he would laugh at the incident, saying, “Another one bit the dust.”

“This attitude goes beyond callousness,” federal prosecutor John Butler wrote in court documents. It shows how the urge of illicit profits makes an individual lose “basic human decency.” He further said that the drug peddler treated his customers as instruments of profits.

Stuart continued to traffic and distribute drugs even after knowing that his products were leading to fatal and nonfatal overdoses, said the Department of Justice. He had 10 prior similar convictions. Two of his customers had died between September and November 2016, while more than a dozen of people had reported nonfatal overdoses.

Stuart and his accomplices were arrested on Dec. 8, 2016 when officers from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the police departments of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake conducted a search operation around Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake. The agencies made arrests and seized guns, cash, and more than 1,800 wax baggies with “King of Death,” “Last Call,” “Mad Max,” and “Chef Curry” stamped on them.

Heroin addiction can be treated

In the wake of the devastation that fentanyl, a drug 50-100 times more powerful than morphine, is causing, in the United States, it has become imperative for law enforcement agencies to take strict action. Appearing similar to heroin, it is often mixed with the drug for more pleasure, eventually killing thousands of people every year. Multiple arrests and sentencing of drug peddlers like Stuart can help limit the drug supply in the nation leading to fewer overdoses. However, it’s equally important to seek treatment. Any addiction can be treated provided right intervention is sought at the earliest.

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