A man from the Richmond Highway area was sentenced to 20 years in prison last month after being convicted of selling heroin to a Hybla Valley man who fatally overdosed in 2018.
George Addae, 26, was sentenced by U.S. Eastern District of Virginia Judge Anthony J. Trenga during a December 20 hearing at the federal courthouse in Alexandria. Addae had pleaded guilty to two counts of heroin distribution and one count of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin resulting in death.
In addition to his prison time, Addae was also ordered to forfeit $100,000.
Multiple charges against Addae were dropped as part of the plea agreement, including distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, distribution of fentanyl, and possession of fentanyl with the intent to distribute.
Upon release from prison, Addae will face five years of supervised release. He is also subject to a deportation review, according to court documents.
Court documents from Addae’s case detail the heroin operation he is said to have led for roughly two years. As part of his plea agreement, Addae admitted to repackaging heroin in capsules and selling it to customers in the Northern Virginia area — including an unidentified man who died after ingesting a mix of heroin and fentanyl on April 30, 2018.
Prosecutors said that Addae personally sold the mix of heroin and fentanyl– a powerful opioid used for severe pain relief — to the overdose victim, who was found dead by his mother in a residence on Audubon Avenue in Hybla Valley.
Text messages between Addae and the victim are included in an affidavit signed by a Fairfax County Police detective who led the investigation. Using coded language, the pair discussed meeting up at the Walmart or Costco in some of the texts. Addae later met the man near his residence on Audubon Avenue, according to the texts.
The affidavit also gives details about a second fatal overdose in the Richmond Highway area. Although it was not part of Addae’s guilty plea, the overdose victim was said to have been “very close” to Addae, and text messages between the two were found on the victim’s phone. The victim’s family is also said to have fingered Addae as the victim’s drug supplier.
That fatal overdose happened in a Starbucks on Richmond Highway. The victim was found unresponsive in the coffee shop’s bathroom, with drug paraphernalia nearby. The medical examiner found two forms of fentanyl and cocaine in the victim’s system, according to court documents.
The overdose deaths of the men, whose ages were not revealed, were just two of 83 opioid-related deaths that happened in Fairfax County in 2018, according to county health officials. Of those fatal overdoses, 70 involved heroin and/or fentanyl.
Fairfax officials said last year that overdoses in the state increased from 43 in 2009 to 813 in 2018. In the county, opioid overdoses are the number one cause of unnatural death.
Although Addae’s case was prosecuted in federal court, the Fairfax County Police led the investigation in conjunction with the FBI Washington Field Office’s Safe Streets/HIDTA Task Force. The task force is made up of FBI Agents and police officers from multiple jurisdictions in Northern Virginia.
As part of the plea agreement, Addae — who also went by “JR” and “JC” — admitted to obtaining wholesale quantities of heroin from a supplier. The total quantities described in court documents was in the range of 1-3 kilograms.
After repacking the heroin in pills, Addae is said to have used cell phones and messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger to set up the sales. Unnamed co-conspirators would often deliver the heroin to customers and then return the proceeds to Addae, according to court documents.
Addae’s co-conspirators twice sold heroin to confidential informants used by law enforcement. Addae was present at one of these sales on September 20, 2018 near the intersection of Janna Lee Avenue and Buckman Road, which is where the Fairfax County Police arrested him.
It is not clear if any of Addae’s co-conspirators faced prosecution; none were named in court documents.