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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Megale Details ()
Date: June 18, 2009 11:35PM

From today's Centreview:

Year in Prison for Matt Megale

By Bonnie Hobbs
Thursday, June 18, 2009

Friends and family of Virginia Run’s Matt Megale, 18, were hoping he’d receive the same leniency shown recently to Centreville heroin-distributors Tayler Gibson and Anna Richter. On May 29 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, they were sentenced to 30 and 60 days in jail, respectively.

But both cooperated with the prosecution early in the investigation of those involved in the drug ring, and they’re already deep into their substance-abuse rehabilitation programs. Megale, though, still has a long way to go, and for that reason, he was sentenced Friday in federal court to a year and a day in prison.

Even that amount of time was less than the 15-21 months incarceration sought by Assistant U.S. District Attorney Erik Barnett. And when all is said and done, there’s still no guarantee Megale will be able to beat his own addiction and stay on the straight and narrow.

"Only you can keep yourself clean," U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema warned him.

On March 24, Megale pleaded guilty to distributing heroin to a person under 21. He also acknowledged that, from January 2008 through Jan. 29 of this year, he distributed heroin on a regular basis.

Four people died from heroin overdoses as a result of the drug ring’s actions. One was Alicia Lannes, 19, of Centreville. Yet her death failed to deter any of the dealers from getting other young men and women hooked on heroin.

"On March 8, 2008, three days after Alicia Lannes died, the defendant sold heroin to a girl who, like him, was 17," said Barnett at Megale’s June 12 sentencing. "She overdosed, was hospitalized and survived — and she and her mother are in the courtroom today. She overdosed because she ingested heroin after getting it from the defendant."

Barnett said that, by that time — and throughout that summer — Megale had become a "reliable" heroin dealer. The argument’s been made, said Barnett, that the 17-year-old’s overdose was "her fault," because she chose to use heroin of her own, free will.

"But Mr. Megale sold heroin to an immature and unstable drug addict, and we can’t excuse that conduct," said the prosecutor. "True, he stayed with her, provided support and called 911 — but he also provided the dangerous situation [in the first place]."

FURTHERMORE, he said, Megale’s already been "rewarded" for helping the girl. Said Barnett: "The government had the ability last year to ask the court to transfer Mr. Megale to a mandatory, 20-year minimum [sentencing status] and we did not."

And once again, someone’s overdose did nothing to prevent Megale from using and distributing heroin. Authorities say that, after turning 18 in January — thus becoming liable for prosecution as an adult — he continued selling heroin to five more people under age 21.

In a Jan. 30 affidavit, FBI Special Agent Bryan Wilhite wrote that, on Jan. 24, a person directed by law enforcement gave Megale $80 to purchase heroin for him, which Megale did, from his Washington, D.C., supplier.

Afterward, authorities stopped their vehicle and found Megale in possession of that heroin. Wilhite wrote that Megale actually admitted purchasing $200 worth of heroin that day from the same source from which he’d bought heroin on "at least three prior occasions" in January.

"When he continued to pool money with people and sell heroin in 2009, he knew the government was investigating him — and yet he continued," said Barnett. "Nothing really stopped him." That’s why, he said, the best place for Megale has been the Alexandria jail, where he’s been incarcerated since January.

"He filled the void created by the arrests of [now-convicted heroin dealers] Quickly, Nash, Schreider and Gibson and became a regular dealer," said Barnett. He said authorities arrested Megale in January because "We could not delay and allow another young person to suffer — or to have Mr. Megale, at age 18, clearly face a 20-year, mandatory-minimum sentence."

BUT DEFENSE ATTORNEY Fred Sinclair said Megale was a victim too because he was also addicted to heroin. He said Megale’s local source overdosed and died, but Megale and two others still pooled their money to buy heroin and share it among themselves. He also noted that Megale didn’t drive, so others drove him to the District for the purchases.

Regarding Megale’s continuing to deal heroin after becoming his client, Sinclair said, "Frankly, he let me down, and his parents and I believed he should sit in the Alexandria jail and consider his misdeeds." Earlier, said Sinclair, Megale’s parents sent him to an expensive treatment facility which was for behavior modification, but "didn’t treat his addiction. So when he came out, he used Oxycodone and heroin."

Sinclair said Megale completed a 10-week, substance-abuse course in jail, obtained his GED and was a jail trustee. "There’s a redemptive quality to him," said the attorney. "At 14, he switched peers, nosedived and went downhill." Sinclair then asked Judge Brinkema to "temper justice with mercy" and sentence Megale to just 12 months and a day.

He said Megale’s parents want to move to New York, where their son would be placed into a Catholic facility, Hope House, "to address his addiction and the psychological problems that led to it. It’s a one-year, inpatient treatment, so he won’t begin his mainstream life until that’s done."

"There’s a job waiting for him, and community college," added Sinclair. "so plans are afoot to turn Matthew’s life around, but the only one who can do it is Matthew. Beginning at age 14, he used marijuana, then ecstasy, cocaine and heroin. [But] he’s gotten a cold dose of reality in jail."

MEGALE THEN STOOD and addressed the court. "Poor choices led me to this point," he said. "It’s hurt not only myself, but the ones closest to me, my family — especially my little sister and my mother. I take full responsibility and I will overcome this, one way or another."

Brinkema said the most difficult part of her job is sentencing young offenders. "Do you give them a hard hit, the first time, or give them a break," she asked. She then spoke directly to Megale.

"The fact that you continued to be involved in heroin after the investigation began and your parents had hired you an attorney — and you continued to associate with these people and use drugs — is an indicator that the lesson hasn’t been learned," said Brinkema.

However, she also noted the number of letters she’d received on Megale’s behalf, how his problems had adversely affected his mother’s health and that his wheelchair-bound sister "depends upon" him. The judge was also pleased with how well he’d behaved in jail.

"So I’m going to take a chance on you," said Brinkema. "But ultimately, it’s on your shoulders."

She then imposed a sentence of one year and one day, plus credit for time already served, and placed Megale on six years supervised release. She also advised him that she’ll maintain jurisdiction over his probation, so "If you get in trouble in New York, you’ll come back to this court. That means no violations of law, including traffic laws."

Megale must remain drug-free, submit to regular drug testing and complete whatever drug and mental-health treatment his probation officer recommends. And he must maintain full-time education or employment because, Brinkema told him, "You need lots of structure in your life for the next few years."

She also said she’d recommend he be incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Institution camp in Cumberland, Md., so he could participate in its 50-hour drug-treatment program.

Afterward, outside the courtroom, Sinclair said, "I got what I asked for; I was quite happy with the result."

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: dumb ()
Date: June 22, 2009 06:27PM

Something that is really ridiculous is that there were undercover agents on this case for a while AND DID NOTHING AS PEOPLE WERE DIEING. If anything the FEDs are to blame as well for not stepping in sooner. Plus they were just stacking up the charges just to screw people over.

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Re: need to build a sonic in the area
Posted by: WingNut ()
Date: June 22, 2009 09:15PM

x



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/16/2015 07:14AM by WingNut.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: formerhick76 ()
Date: June 23, 2009 03:28PM

WingNut Wrote:
> I've always wondered about the logic of the
> "ungoing investigations" that involve multiple
> undercover purchases before the seller is
> arrested. If a DEA agent makes a felony purchase
> of a deadly drug like heroin or crack, but does
> not arrest the seller on the spot, he is basically
> allowing someone he knows to sell poison to go
> free. I don't think anyone who had a relative who
> dies in this period has a legal leg to stand on
> though, as all parties are involved in an illegal
> act.
>
> The feds and local task forces could be forced to
> follow an administrative directive that requires
> the immediate arrest after a felony dope sale.
> Maybe they've done the research on it already, I'd
> like to hear the rationale.

I guess in some cases they might be going after 'bigger fish.' How much would they need to create a 100% airtight case against a dealer? I just watched the episode of The Sopranos where Adriana tried to make Christopher flip.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: J Webb ()
Date: June 23, 2009 06:41PM

The above post demonstrates why we have so many ignorant posts about law enforcement on this site, every dipshit who has watched a police TV series is an instant authority on all aspect of police behavior,,,, ,

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Re: need to build a sonic in the area
Posted by: WingNut ()
Date: June 23, 2009 08:29PM

x



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/16/2015 07:17AM by WingNut.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: formerhick76 ()
Date: June 24, 2009 03:02PM

J Webb Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The above post demonstrates why we have so many
> ignorant posts about law enforcement on this
> site, every dipshit who has watched a police TV
> series is an instant authority on all aspect of
> police behavior,,,, ,

Do tell the 'real story' then. Or are you just a dipshit that doesn't need to watch police TV to know everything?

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: always trenchant ()
Date: June 24, 2009 04:45PM

I find WingNut's posts consistently spot on.

I would think there are circumstances where law enforcement would want multiple buys for very legitimate reasons, although one could argue whether the strategy is fair.

Multiple, documented buys certainly could be a plus in a RICO case, where agents are using that law to take down criminal enterprises and their structure. Multiple predicate acts would be helpful.

On the other hand, I understand WingNut's point. Most drug busts are not RICO cases, and it does appear to be a form of piling on with multiple buys.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: formerhick76 ()
Date: June 25, 2009 09:21AM

WingNut Wrote:
> The Sopranoes is a well written show with good
> characters, but like "Oz" it's a work of fiction
> and they do things for script expediency you may
> never see (or wait a long time to see) in real
> life.
>
> Going after the bigger fish is always the reason
> given for the multiple buys, but if the narcs
> follow their rules of procedure for a controlled
> buy ( search the snitch before sending him in,
> don't let him out of sight, tape everything) they
> really don't need to buy again and again. They
> only do it so they can run up the charges on the
> accused.

Thanks for the more polite response, complete with 'correct answer.'

I guess the 'piling on' allows the po-po to scare the small fish even more (I guess they think doing 20 to 30 will scare the small fish more than doing 2 to 3).

There might be a chance you could catch multiple medium or big fish, but I'd imagine a lot of that would occur *after* you turn the small fish Queen's Evidence. Again, no need to run up the charges and do multiple.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: What? ()
Date: June 25, 2009 10:44AM

I think that kids lost their lives and alot of people lost their kids to severe addiction and long term prison sentences for waiting around...

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Moe lester ()
Date: July 07, 2009 08:47AM

What hAppened to jr

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: What? ()
Date: July 07, 2009 01:39PM

You tell me...

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Date: July 07, 2009 03:00PM

Moe lester Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What hAppened to jr

he got 19 years. hes livin it up in federal pound me in the ass prison

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: What? ()
Date: July 07, 2009 03:03PM

Doesnt take but a few people to blame it all on you... and you will be underground as well...

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Date: July 07, 2009 03:12PM

jr got caught selling heroin 3 times. id say it was his own fault. now some of the other people yeah they got narced on for what amounts to little involvement so anna and the other girls could save themselves.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: What? ()
Date: July 07, 2009 03:23PM

Did you know these kids? Sounds like you did... I think you should read on the little involvement... for the girls...

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Date: July 07, 2009 04:07PM

i said the girls WERE involved. read all the articles. that judge said that the anna girl was one of the most involved of any. i said they were getting off because the testified.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: What? ()
Date: July 07, 2009 04:19PM

If you read what you said Little involvement... so if you would read the articles... you would see that one of the girls... turned the boys on to the drug dealer... the other was a girl friend... that was with her boyfriend all the time and got no time... those are the main two I am talking about without their names... guess who they are?

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: What? ()
Date: July 07, 2009 04:23PM

No more reply from me...

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Bonner Sentence ()
Date: July 09, 2009 11:25PM

From Centreview:

Bonner Sentenced: Lied to Heroin Grand Jury

By Bonnie Hobbs
Thursday, July 09, 2009

Michael Jonathan Bonner was sentenced last week to six months and four days for lying to a federal grand jury regarding the actions of someone involved with the Centreville-based heroin ring. Bonner, 19, of Centreville, was asked where Skylar Schnippel purchased the heroin on March 4, 2008 that proved fatal to 19-year-old Alicia Lannes, also of Centreville.

According to his signed statement of facts, Bonner led the grand jury to believe Schnippel bought it from J.R. Quick when, in fact, he’d purchased it from Daniel Nash. Therefore, stated the prosecuting attorneys, Bonner "intentionally withheld truthful information and provided false and misleading testimony."

Last Thursday, July 2, Bonner was ordered to spend July 2-5 in jail, followed by six months home confinement. Nash and Quick have already been sentenced in connection with the heroin-distribution conspiracy and their roles in Lannes’s death. On Feb. 27, in federal court, Nash was given 20 years in prison, and Quick, 19 years.

Schnippel stood trial, May 4-5, in U.S. District Court in Alexandria and was found guilty of heroin distribution resulting in Lannes’s death, plus other charges. He’s scheduled for sentencing, July 24, by Judge Leonie Brinkema.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: truth in sentencing not ()
Date: July 10, 2009 09:13AM

Ill bet Bonner , Richter and Gibson will never try that stuff again with those tough sentences.They really learned a lesson, crime does pay.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: scottydfl422 ()
Date: July 11, 2009 07:14PM

What? Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Did you know these kids?


I knew JR and Skylar when they were about 12, 13 years old.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Big Sentences Coming... ()
Date: July 13, 2009 05:21PM

We're heading into the home stretch on the sentencing for these cases. 13 "kids" (18-23 years old) received 30 days to 20 years for their involvement in the heroin activity in our community (average sentence was 5 years per arrest). 2 "kids" and 1 "adult" are waiting or have not been reported on for final sentences. Specifically, the missing sentences belong to:

- Antonio Harper (33 yr old dealer - NOT from Centreville) is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday (7/17). He is reported to be facing 15 years to life.

- Skylar Schnippel (19 at arrest) is scheduled to be sentenced the following Friday (7/24). He is reported to be facing 50 years to life.

- Angela Aycock (19 at arrest) was scheduled to be sentenced a month ago (5-40 years), but nothing has been reported (status, anyone?).

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: illeagle ()
Date: July 17, 2009 03:04PM

Obviously they're not trying to rack up the charges for individual dealers... they are doing the same crime again and again...any additional charges will come in the way of finding out their source.

The DEA is not primarily concerned with small-time dealers, they're concerned with the big time distributors. Once they find out where the small-time dealers are getting their product that's when they will make the bust on everyone involved. Often times the people who get ff easiest are the informants who let them on the inside to get more information.

If you step back and take a look at the big picture of the situation, you'll see that they're helping more communities by busting the big distributors than by busting one small ring of dealers which typically effects one smaller community. It's "for the greater good."

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: centre villain ()
Date: July 17, 2009 03:15PM

Big Sentences Coming... Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> - Angela Aycock (19 at arrest) was scheduled to
> be sentenced a month ago (5-40 years), but nothing
> has been reported (status, anyone?).


i dont know much more about it but i do know she recently got let off house arrest that she had been on since her arrest. maybe they're dropping her charges?

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Dude ()
Date: July 17, 2009 04:27PM

Harper was sentenced to 26 years this morning for selling between 30-60 Kl of Heroin.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Harper Sentence ()
Date: July 17, 2009 06:00PM

From washingtonpost.com:

Supplier of Fairfax Heroin Ring Gets 26-Year Sentence
Friday, July 17, 2009 3:54 PM

One of the main suppliers of a western Fairfax County heroin ring was sentenced Friday to more than 26 years in prison, after admitting that he dealt between 10 and 30 kilograms of heroin -- or up to 300,000 individual doses -- during a two-year period ending last year.

Antonio L. Harper, 33, of Waldorf was one of the original sources for a group of teenage heroin addicts from the Centreville area, who took turns driving into the District or Maryland to buy heroin from Harper, multiple members said. Four of the young people involved in the ring died of heroin overdoses, and another 15 were arrested on various federal drug charges beginning in November.

Harper was the fourth person to receive a sentence of 19 years or more. The other three defendants to receive long sentences pleaded guilty to distributing heroin that resulted in the death of one of their friends. The only defendant to not plead guilty, Skylar M. Schnippel, 20, was convicted at trial in May on the charge of distribution resulting in death, involving the fatal overdose of his girlfriend, 19-year-old Alicia Lannes. He faces a minimum 20-year term at his sentencing next Friday.

-- Tom Jackman

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Dude ()
Date: July 18, 2009 09:02AM

Sorry about the mistake on my post yesterday regarding the qty involved regarding Harper.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Smacky ()
Date: July 20, 2009 12:12PM

She was dumb enough to buy the herion and use it. Completely her fault.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: fear the hole ()
Date: July 23, 2009 03:23PM

Heard Snipple is being sentenced tomorrow, hope he has a great dinner tonight, for the next 20 years it will be maggot mush

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Harper Sentence Details ()
Date: July 23, 2009 09:32PM

From Centreview:

26 Years, 8 Months Prison for Harper
He supplied heroin to Centreville ring.

By Bonnie Hobbs
Thursday, July 23, 2009

The federal sentencing guidelines for conspiring to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin call for 235-293 months in prison. But in the case of Antonio Harper, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Grooms, "Were there no guidelines, I believe a life sentence would be appropriate."

"Since age 11, he’s been involved in drug distribution, and he’s had convictions since age 15," said the prosecutor, last Friday in federal court. "The conduct in this case is incredible, the behavior, egregious, and the harm, tremendous."

In the end, U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema agreed, sentencing Harper to 19 years, eight months for the drug charge, plus a mandatory seven years for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, for 26 years, eight months incarceration total.

Harper, 34, of Waldorf, Md., pleaded guilty to both offenses, April 21. He was the major supplier of the Centreville-based heroin ring and told the court that, during drug deals, he often kept a .45-caliber handgun in his car or on his person. And when the weapon wasn’t tucked into his waistband, he said, "I just had it within arm’s reach."

In a court document, Grooms and fellow prosecutors Lauren Wetzler and Erik Barnett wrote that, while Harper supplied the young, Centreville heroin addicts, the ring grew from a few users making individual trips to Washington, D.C., to obtain heroin for their own use to "a wide-ranging conspiracy involving multiple levels of distribution and near-daily heroin transactions involving several grams of heroin at a time."

Harper said he’d personally distributed 10-30 kilograms of heroin during the course of this conspiracy — which the prosecutors called "astounding when one considers he was dealing primarily in individual, .1 gram bags of heroin. In sum, he was personally responsible for placing between 100,000 and 300,000 bags of heroin into the hands of addicts in Virginia and elsewhere."

They further stated that Harper had ongoing sexual relationships with many of the women, ages 17-21, coming to him for drugs. They told investigators he’d bring them up to his apartment alone and sell or give them heroin after they’d had sex with him.

"He took sexual advantage of young women — some of them minors," Grooms said in court. "And this makes his conduct worse."

Basically, he said, Harper’s a career criminal. "For 22 years, he’s engaged in nothing but criminal activities involving firearms, violent conduct and assaulting his pregnant girlfriend — both with a gun and by punching her in the face and breaking her nose," said Grooms. "The only time he wasn’t doing criminal activities was the four years he was in prison."

Harper had two drug convictions before turning 18 in 1993. Following his second assault on his girlfriend, in May 1998, he was convicted of obstruction of justice, burglary, assault, threats and assault with a deadly weapon — and these offenses landed him in prison.

DURING THE 1990S, he was charged and/or arrested 14 other times. And since 1993, he’s been convicted of criminal offenses on seven different occasions. Harper’s 2003 cocaine-possession conviction involved a loaded handgun and evidence of crack cocaine distribution.

"He is not willing to lead a law-abiding life," wrote the prosecutors in their sentencing document. "The defendant has proven himself irredeemable, [and] the harm caused by his conduct is immeasurable."

At Harper’s July 17 sentencing, Grooms requested he serve some 31 years, five months total for his latest offenses. "He engaged in massive amounts of drug dealing and put hundreds of thousands of bags of heroin out on the street," said Grooms. "He sold thousands of bags a week, and his conduct warrants the most serious sentence the court can impose."

But defense attorney Gretchen Taylor said her client didn’t have an easy childhood. "His father was incarcerated and his mother was a substance abuser and wasn’t there for him like she should have been," she said. "He wanted to take care of his sister so, at age 11, he began selling drugs, and both he and his sister became addicted."

Taylor said Harper is bi-polar, but hasn’t obtained treatment, and he was "a daily user of heroin, similar to [his customers]. He was using approximately four grams a day — a huge amount for personal use. His every moment was consumed with how to get heroin. He was a street dealer, helping others get their heroin."

She also noted that he never left the District or Maryland to sell it in Virginia, but is being prosecuted in this state "so he’d get an extraordinarily high sentence." Taylor said Harper used to mentor youth and give back to his community, and she asked for no more than a 20-year sentence.

THEN CENTREVILLE’S Donna Lannes — whose daughter Alicia, 19, died of a heroin overdose in connection with the conspiracy — stood and addressed Harper. "What if there were no repercussions for our actions — no rules, laws or society expectations?" she asked. "That’s the life you lived — no consequences. You lived each day without a thought about the trail of destruction to others."

Lannes said he didn’t hesitate to intimidate or physically abuse people to achieve his goals and he chose his lifestyle. "For that choice — for destroying youth and a peaceful, lawful way of life — you will suffer the consequences," she said. "You will be an example that there is a price to be paid for intentional, diabolical, contemptible actions. Society and our justice system will not tolerate descent into evil. You are the root of this immoral, malignant, sinister evil. You are responsible for death and destruction. You will suffer a sentence of incarceration, and we could not be more relieved."

Then her husband Greg spoke to Harper "on behalf of Alicia and for the countless other victims whose lives you’ve destroyed. Mr. Harper, you are the stone thrown into our community pond — the ripple effect will be felt for years to come. Because you’ve chosen a criminal path, many people in the community will spend years trying to put their lives back together. Your victims are serving time now, in addiction from the terrible drugs you chose to distribute. Unfortunately, they face years of rehabilitation — their lives spinning out of control, financial hardship and, in some cases, there will be deaths still to come."

He said Harper’s proved he cannot be a productive member of society. "Our communities are not safe with you on the streets," Greg Lannes told him. "We hope you find your moral compass and God in the future. May God watch over you, Antonio Harper. But until then, federal prison will be watching over you to protect our kids and our communities."

Harper then apologized for his actions and said he accepted responsibility. Before sentencing him, Judge Brinkema also spoke.

"This is a case involving tragedy — and not only for the Centreville drug addicts," she said. "Mr. Harper also has a tragic background — he never had a chance. But it doesn’t excuse what happened."

"Because of your criminal history and the nature of the crimes, the court has no confidence that you wouldn’t be back on the streets, committing crimes," Brinkema told Harper. "For the protection of the community, a harsh sentence is necessary."

She then sentenced him to 236 months in prison for heroin distribution, plus 84 months for the gun charge. That’s 320 months total, or 26 years, eight months. Harper will also receive intensive drug and mental-health treatment in prison, and his incarceration will be followed by five years supervised release.

Afterward, Greg Lannes called Harper’s arrest, convention and sentencing "a real victory for our community. Fairfax County, the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys Office have worked hard to bring individuals like Antonio Harper to justice. Now a main supplier of heroin to Northern Virginia is behind bars for many years and the head of the snake has been cut off for this particular drug ring."

"Our hope is that the community will continue the drug awareness and vigilance to protect our children going forward," continued Lannes. "Though Harper was a significant supplier, there are other individuals in our community ready to take his place. Local and federal law enforcement has helped our community get a small foothold on this terrible drug issue. However, it will be up to the parents, neighborhoods and community to fight it together in the months and years to come."

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Aycock Sentence ()
Date: July 23, 2009 09:37PM

From Centreview

Aycock Receives 30-Day Sentence: Heroin Dealing

By Bonnie Hobbs
Thursday, July 23, 2009

On Feb. 6, Centreville’s Angela Aycock, 20, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. As a result, she could have received years in prison.

But like Tayler Gibson and Anna Richter — fellow members of the Centreville-based heroin ring — she’s not only cooperated with the prosecution, but has made dramatic changes in her life. For those reasons, Aycock was sentenced Friday, July 17, in U.S. District Court to 30 days in jail.

Although Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Grooms said Aycock didn’t help the government to the same extent Gibson and Richter did, defense attorney Jonathan Shapiro called Aycock’s cooperation "full, honest, forthright and very significant." He said the others were approached earlier than her and knew many more people involved in the conspiracy.

Grooms and fellow prosecutors Lauren Wetzler and Erik Barnett wrote in a court document that Aycock was one of the earliest members of the conspiracy. Over an 18-month period from 2006 through 2008, she played an integral role, providing a connection for various members to the ring’s major supplier, Antonio Harper.

"This conspiracy was not hierarchical in nature, but rather, was comprised of a collection of heroin addicts who joined together with the principal purpose of satisfying their own addictions," wrote the prosecutors. "The tragedy of this case is that, in looking after themselves, these defendants provided for dozens of others to follow them down this path of self-destruction. Each time Aycock brought others to Harper so she could get free heroin for herself, she ensured that dozens of bags of heroin would be distributed throughout the Centreville area."

In court, Grooms said Aycock introduced "many, many people" to Harper so she could get heroin from him free or at a reduced price. But, he added, "She made the decision to stop using heroin independently of her prosecution."

Because of Aycock’s "extraordinary rehabilitation and conduct in the past 18 months," Shapiro said she shouldn’t be incarcerated. "She came from a broken home, with a father who was an alcoholic," he said. "Her alcohol use began at age 12, and her drug use, at age 13. At 15, she was introduced to heroin — which, for her, was like giving water to the parched. She was a child and had no tools to turn away from that path."

Nonetheless, he said, "In January 2008 — at age 18 and at rock bottom — she somehow gathered the strength to quit her drug use, on her own. She wasn’t even yet charged, and she has never turned back."

Aycock enrolled in NOVA, got her GED and was invited to teach her peers in a writing course. Shapiro also said her teachers think highly of her.

"The change in her life has been stunning, and she did it herself," he said. "She’s done everything a prison sentence could do for her, and it would do nothing to help what she’s already accomplished. As it is, she’ll bear the cross of this conviction for years, trying to get jobs." Shapiro then asked U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema for a sentence in line with Gibson’s (30 days) and Richter’s (60 days).

Aycock then stood and addressed the court. "I feel bad for what I did, but I feel so much better now," she said. "But I’m ready to be sentenced so I can take responsibility for what I did."

Brinkema told Aycock her role in the heroin conspiracy wasn’t dissimilar to Gibson’s and Richter’s. Furthermore, said the judge, "You’ve made extraordinary efforts to rehabilitate yourself, and I don’t want to interfere with that. You’re in school and have done positive things, but the case is too serious not to have some consequences."

After ascertaining that NOVA’s next semester begins Aug. 24, Brinkema sentenced Aycock to 30 days in the Alexandria Detention Center, starting immediately. She also placed her on four years supervised release, provided Aycock violates no further laws, remains drug-free and submits to drug testing and drug treatment.

"I believe there are mental-health issues you haven’t yet addressed and would explain why you started using drugs and alcohol at such an early age," added Brinkema. "So you must receive mental-health counseling and treatment. You must also maintain full-time education or employment status, have no contact with the Centreville co-defendants and may not frequent any location where drugs are sold. The court wishes you well."

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Zach Dillon ()
Date: July 23, 2009 11:36PM

Will everyone please stop talking about what they read in the news paper! You should only come here if you knew the people that were involed. Alicia was great and the 19 person to past. RIP. She will be with us forever. (:

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: oh please ()
Date: July 24, 2009 12:25AM

have you noticed that skyler schnippel has like a fan base on fbook for a while? like save skyler schinppel?
oh please.
heroin isn't like those "pussy drugs" like weed. this is the real deal. hopefully he learns his lesson in prison.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: truth in sentencing ()
Date: July 25, 2009 09:34AM

According to todays Wash post he will have 20 years to think about it , what a smuck. Now the clean up arrests will come

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: unbelieveable ()
Date: July 25, 2009 06:39PM

the thing that continues to baffle me is that skylar got MORE time for the drug charges (20 years) than the MAIN supplier of the entire ring! (who got 19 years for the drugs). AND that the girl who brought the very first heroin to centreville (aycock) and was the catalyst for the entire ring, got 30 DAYS. am i missing something here?

it's clear to me that our justice system is askew in that a) the feds focus in on one person who they decide will be their scapegoat (in this case, skylar). b) if you snitch on the scapegoat for them, you will do minimal time, regardless of your true involvement. c) if you're a girl, you are guaranteed to do hardly any time at all. if they really want to get to the root of the drug problem as they say, then why are they focusing on skylar - a suburban kid with a bad addiction and nothing more - instead of whoever was above antonio harper.

i also continue to wonder if the script had been flipped and it was alicia who was still alive and skylar who happened to fatally overdose, would alicia be under fire facing 20 years for the death of her boyfriend? i bet she would be serving a few months at most.

and finally, i think the ultimate injustice here is the lack of owenership the parents are taking for their lack of parenting. they knew their daughter had a serious and deadly heroin problem, yet they allowed her to first get an apartment on her own, and then have a private room in the basement? if my child even so much as tried heroin and i was aware of it, they would be under lock and key in the house under 24/7 supervision until the issue was resolved. meanwhile, skylar's parents WERE watching out for him, checking on him, etc., which is why alicia was the one who did the heroin that night, not skylar. but no, it wasn't alcicia's fault that SHE overdosed and died, somehow it was her boyfriend's fault??

an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, and the lannes' need to realize that misdirecting blame and ruining other families lives isn't solving anything. hardcore rehab and intense parental supervision is what these kids have needed from the beginning.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: What? ()
Date: July 27, 2009 01:02AM

Unbelievable,

You missed key point here, if you put yourself in rehab and clean you act up before going to court, they cut you some slack. Aycock went into rehab in January 08 and Richter in March 08, long before their were any inkling of a Federal Investigation. Gibson went for rehab in July of 08 after her arrest. Remmington also started in rehab as well and the judge cut some slack as well.

That seems not to matter to you even if someone does hardcore rehab like you state in your last sentence.

Agree that Skylar has been made the scapegoat of this whole thing, plus he lost the love of his life. However misguided their action, he has suffered more than many people will ever understand.

What needs to be stated going forward is for parents who suspect their kids are involved with drugs to take control and try and fix the problem as some did in or someone else will and the parents will have no control.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: something to say ()
Date: July 27, 2009 09:27AM

This is to unbelieveable:

the thing that continues to baffle me is that skylar got MORE time for the drug charges (20 years) than the MAIN supplier of the entire ring! (who got 19 years for the drugs). AND that the girl who brought the very first heroin to centreville (aycock) and was the catalyst for the entire ring, got 30 DAYS. am i missing something here?

Lets start with how Skylar got 20 years... when he was suppose to get way more:
Remember he asked a person to lie for him on the stand which gives you 10 years which he was not even sentenced for... so by his snitching... and telling all... he got off way easy... I agree that Skylar and the other kids that got major time should not have taken a fall for a girl that had chose to do heroin... and overdosed many times before... but the MAIN supplier got 26 years... You need to keep yourself updated... if you are going to put stuff on this site... Skylar was also the one that intruduced his friends to drugs... Yes all the girls got off easy... I dont understand that one either...

Alot of the kids didnt have time to pull out of their drive way to go to drug treatment before the cops pulled them over just to harrass... so if given a chance they could have helped themselves...as well.

By the way WHAT? You took my post...

If you would have known these kids... you all know they are just that... they made wrong decisions...got addicted ... and couldnt just quit or stop... Heroin is a terrible addiction... alot of people got off easy... esp...the girls. and Skylar... especially when he was faced with lots more that 20 years... that is what snitching gets you. And getting your friends addicted and setting them up... sorry I am not in the fan club of Skylar right now.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: NEWS ()
Date: July 27, 2009 09:42AM

HERE IS YOUR FRIEND:


Schnippel's trial lasted just a day and a half. The testimony provided insight to the Centreville heroin ring. The group, mostly teenagers and friends from Westfield high school, bought, sold and used more than a kilo of heroin over a two year period beginning in the summer of 2006. Police say Schnippel, who at one time worked as an informant, named at least 30 people involved with the ring

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: NEWS ()
Date: July 27, 2009 09:43AM

INFORMANT... NAMED 30 PEOPLE=SKYLAR

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: cliff notse plz ()
Date: July 27, 2009 10:47AM

stop copy/pasting the article
just link you noobs

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: mustknow ()
Date: July 27, 2009 12:12PM

Her parents obviously did not know her actions Read the transcripts and realize how involved in this drug she was. She did it all the time with Nikki, Nicole, George. Her parents even caught her doing the drug two week prior in their house and her punishment was that they took her car away for a couple of days. She was out of control and they knew it. That is the real issue here is that they did not act. Here is a novel thought. Tell an 18 year old boy who is addicted to drugs that he is responsible for not allowing their daughter to do drugs and to call them when she does. Makes perfect sense to me, NOT. I cannot believe that they said that. The Police should be investigated also as they caused this conspiracy by having all these kids working for them all the time when they should of shut it down. Such a waste.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: unbelieveable ()
Date: July 27, 2009 12:38PM

good points made by all.

to "something to say," when i said harper only received 19 years for the drug charge, that wasn't including the extra 7 years he received for the seperate gun charge, which totals 26 years, but i was only focusing on the relevant drug charge.

i think the main issue here, as "mustknow" stated above, is the lack of parenting, and the lack of ownership for this responsibility. of course alicia's parents would never have intentionally allowed her to get involved with drugs, and of course peer influence played a heavy role in this case. but at the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the parent, and no one else - not teachers, not friends, not the community - but the parent, to ensure the safety of their child. so to ask an 18-year-old heroin-addicted boyfriend to watch over your heroin-addicted daughter, to continue to allow your daughter to be in situations where heroin is likely to be present (i.e., her own apartment), and then to blame the boyfriend when your heroin-addicted daughter dies of her own overdose, is beyond logical to me.

regardless of who alicia got her last dose from, regardless of whether skylar snitched on people, i think the cold hard facts show that while most of these kids should serve a certain amount of time in jail, none of them should be held solely responsible for alicia's death

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: ExUser ()
Date: July 27, 2009 01:09PM

unbelieveable Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
>
> i think the main issue here, as "mustknow" stated
> above, is the lack of parenting,


I disagree.

Once a kid is an adult, and she was, parenting is out the window. Addiction is an affliction that can not be cured by parenting.

Schnippel should have called 911 when he realized she was in trouble, not worry about the ramifications if she was in fact okay and he falsely called for help. For his fear of getting caught, which cost a life, he got twenty years. A fair sentence, everything considered.

So many lives lost and ruined over this. So Sad.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: The Game, and how to play it ()
Date: July 27, 2009 06:07PM

>You missed key point here, if you put yourself in rehab and clean you act up before going to court, they cut you some slack.<

A big part of the reason that Schnippel got such a heavy sentence is that he was ONLY defendant who chose to go to trial rather than take a deal (per the Post).

When you go to trial, and lose, you will almost invariably get a heavier sentence than if you had pled out.

That's just the way the system works.

He took a calculated risk (arguably a stupid risk, given the facts), and lost.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: fed up ()
Date: July 28, 2009 04:36AM

At long last this is done with. The bullshit the media put out there, which was cooked up in the Fed's offices, with the poster family (Lannes') was just too much. 4 people died in the heroin ring, and we only hear about one of them? There were a lot more tragic cases than the one of Alicia Lannes, but we'll never hear about them in the news, because it doesnt support the FBI's agenda. Make us feel sorry for a sad little baby doll, so they can get promoted through the ranks on such a serious case. "Operation Smackdown" or whatever they called it wasted a bunch of money, got a few agents a fat salary increase, put 20 addicts in jail, and let a lot of guilty people walk free because they were female. Lets have a round of applause for one of the worst handled cases Ive heard of in my life. Thanks for wasting our hard earned tax paying dollars. I wouldve preferred to pay for rehab, than throwing a couple of kids in a Federal penitentary, only to come out worse off than they were going in. Unbelievable...

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Date: July 28, 2009 04:55AM

i guess it pays off to be a cute little dope fiend slut because if you're a guy in the situation you go to jail for the next 5-20. oh no the girls were being taken advantage of and sleeping with the drug dealer for their dope ohhhh noooo. fuck this system everyday tells us we have to work to make everyone equal except when a woman gets in trouble for something they get fucking 30 days while the boyfriend gets 20 years. this is an abomination.

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RE:Old pictures of Fairfax county, love em!
Posted by: WingNut ()
Date: July 28, 2009 06:54AM

.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/16/2015 07:24AM by WingNut.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: mustknow ()
Date: July 28, 2009 11:08AM

The Game, and how to play it wrote: "A big part of the reason that Schnippel got such a heavy sentence is that he was ONLY defendant who chose to go to trial rather than take a deal (per the Post).


The Feds never gave any deal to Schnippel except to plead quilty to the death and take the 20 years. Where as they gave deals to Remmington and Aycock who had someone die after they gave heroin to another person. Where is the equality in the system. The Feds said to Remmington and Aycock, we will charge you with distribution that resulted in death with a sentence of 20 years unless you plead quilty to this other lesser charge. Given the choice, take the other charge. This shows that the prosecution has too much power to be able to pick and choose.

That was never offered to Schnippel. It is very obvious now that everyone else was used as a stepping stone to get to him by the Lannes family and their vendetta. They drove this the entire way and this is what happens when the prosecution does not say no and allow a family to place blame for Alicia's reckless behavior. Where are the other families? That is right, they are not placing blame.

If you are upset about this whole thing, write your Senator and Congressman.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Wow ()
Date: July 28, 2009 12:44PM

WHEN YOU WRITE YOU SHOULD THROW IN ALL THE OTHER NAMES... ESPECIALLY THE ONES THAT GOT 19/2O... ALICIA WAS THERE TO GIVE THEM HELP WITH THEIR ADDICTION...WHAT CAN YOU DO BUT PRAY AND SIT BACK AND HOPE THAT SOMEONE WILL SEE THIS AND HELP THESE BOYS THAT WILL SPEND THEIR LIVES BEHIND BARS...

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Nice ()
Date: July 28, 2009 05:46PM

You said it brother. This whole thing sucks. Girls get off, boys go to jail. If you have a mental problem, you get off light, if not you have no excuse. When did addiction discriminate and say that you must have been abused as a child.

How many other overdose crimes have you heard of since this? None. Know why? Because they occur all the time and they are treated as an accidental death of an addict. Such BS.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: The Game, and how to play it ()
Date: July 28, 2009 08:34PM

mustknow wrote: "The Feds never gave any deal to Schnippel except to plead quilty to the death and take the 20 years..."

If I had read that, I'd forgotten it. Thanks for clarifying.


mustknow wrote: "Where as they gave deals to Remmington and Aycock who had someone die after they gave heroin to another person. Where is the equality in the system. The Feds said to Remmington and Aycock, we will charge you with distribution that resulted in death with a sentence of 20 years unless you plead quilty to this other lesser charge. Given the choice, take the other charge. This shows that the prosecution has too much power to be able to pick and choose."

Prosecutorial discretion is a power that's definitely subject to abuse, but how do you fix the problem?

Don't you risk making the situation worse by taking away that discretion and replacing it with some sort of fixed calculus/regimen prosecutors would have to rigidly adhere to?

And how would you devise such a system, that coherently and consistently takes account of all the subtle variables prosecutors are faced with?

Arguably, the current regimen of fixed sentencing that has been imposed on federal judges has made matters worse for defendants than when judges had greater leeway and discretion in sentencing (although the former discretion-based system did at times undoubtedly result in gross discrepancies).

A final point. Although I tend to agree that the Lannes's "vendetta" probably drove the comparative harshness of Schnippel's treatment, could it be argued that even though Remington and Aycock engaged in distribution that resulted in death, Schnippel's case was more egregious because of (i) his knowledge of the decedent's prior overdoses; and (ii) his failure to seek help (i.e., call 911) after he knew Lannes had OD'd?

In other words, arguably the prosecution *did* have a rational basis for imposing a harsher sentence on Schnippel.

(I note that I don't know the facts in Remington's or Aycock's cases; I'm just speculating here "for the sake of argument." I'm also putting to one side the question of whether it's proper to charge someone with murder under these circumstances, in which the decedent freely chose to shoot herself up.)

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Date: July 29, 2009 02:44AM

aycock just had a p/id charge. not one involving death. i believe her name came out after one of the other defendants turned feds evidence.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: feds fault ()
Date: July 29, 2009 10:40AM

I think this all happened because of the feds not putting it out sooner that this was going on...while they were getting people to tell on each other...pulling them over at all times... and following them around... and so forth...for almost 2 years... setting people up and so on... while all of this was going on...then that is when the deaths happened

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: yep ()
Date: July 29, 2009 12:28PM

un-fairfax aboveground Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> aycock just had a p/id charge. not one involving
> death. i believe her name came out after one of
> the other defendants turned feds evidence.


Read the Pre Sentencing Report online about Aycock and Remmington.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: A victem/whs student ()
Date: July 29, 2009 06:26PM

Fuck everyone posting bullshit here.

Most of the poeple cought up with this dope shit isnt a bad person.i knew most of the people busted.They lived near my street, They were all barley adults, if not evan. Why should these kids have too serve life just for something that i know is powerfull, But what ever happend too second chances, as in the first offender program. The only reason this topic is soo huge is because of alecia lannes parents. She had OD 3 times before her last time...Doesnt that say something too your own self? She did it on her own not skyler.My own brother passed away from an H od and knowing my own brother for 16 years he wasnt a threat too others...Every single one of these kids that got busted just got cought up with eachother and the scene. As ive learned threw out this ordeal..Instead of shunning these people and calling them worthless pieces of shit, help them with thier fucking problems instead of making them worse. They need help and support/suboxon not 20 years too life ona concrete floor. also one of the main distributers from DC only got 26 years...Hes pretty much the main source where all the youth was going too....Say what? now the main older black guy from dc that has lived more of his life then gibson,schnipple, jr or nash and he gets less time then them. fuck that bullshit.

This whole entire situation has blown up just because some APPOSID peachy little girl over dosed 3 times before her last time and her parents refuse too accept the truth/fact that it happend...As stated earlyer my older brother passed away from H, Shit happends, Yes it was hard at first, But ive grown too accept he was a goood man with good intentions with an IQ over 120..Not a fucking crimal...and none of these kids are either....You basterds have the wrong idea and picture...

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Neutral Third-Party Observer ()
Date: July 29, 2009 07:41PM

Well... I don't mean to sound callous, but someone could write a great nonfiction book based on this story.

I nominate Wells Tower.*

Anybody have his email?


*Long Haul Truckers

Iceland and Greenland

Mysterious Ways

Sam's Dream

It's a Jungle Out There

The Restoration

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Dane Bramage ()
Date: July 29, 2009 08:21PM

I don't think you can get first offender status when deaths are involved. Perhaps a case could be made for government controlled distribution of now illegal drugs. Hell, the Prez took coke, and see how far he got.

Who else died? I can only find a 20 year old in Falls Church named Carmen, besides Lannes.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Sandwich Pick ()
Date: July 29, 2009 08:38PM

The name Duncan Parker has been reported.

http://drugaddict.livejournal.com/3470725.html

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Hesh ()
Date: July 29, 2009 08:42PM

In November, The Post reported that 14 people had died.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/19/AR2008111903276.html

23h29ht.gif

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: joe woa ()
Date: July 30, 2009 03:39AM

The NAACP expresses a deep concern over the widespread use of narcotics in the black community of McKeesport. We have had three youths killed by the merchants of heroin in the past two months. We have the widespread, blatant sale of heroin on our street corners between Eleventh and Twelfth Streets. The merchants of heroin are permitted to peddle their poison without the slightest intervention from any law enforcement agency. How many more of our youngsters must die before the merchants of heroin are at least intimidated? There has not been a single drug raid, and we have had two deaths in the same boarding house. We have seen police officers sit in their cars while the merchants of heroin carry on Business as Usual, and we wonder if this same attitude would have prevailed if the three young victims had been white.

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RE:Old pictures of Fairfax county, love em!
Posted by: WingNut ()
Date: July 30, 2009 07:52AM

.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/16/2015 07:29AM by WingNut.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: his fucking brother you ass ()
Date: July 30, 2009 03:35PM

Sandwich Pick Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The name Duncan Parker has been reported.
>
> http://drugaddict.livejournal.com/3470725.html


shut the fuck up dude, Dont be posting shit/people names that you dont evan know..

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: qwerty ()
Date: July 30, 2009 05:13PM

SP just posted a link to data already out there.

Public info.

Sorry for your loss.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Rest of the Story ()
Date: July 30, 2009 07:12PM

Centreview Online Story on Schnippel Sentencing:

20 Years Prison for Schnippel
Gave fatal heroin to Alicia Lannes.

By Bonnie Hobbs
Thursday, July 30, 2009

Right before he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for giving 19-year-old Alicia Lannes the heroin that took her life, Skylar Schnippel apologized to her family for her loss.

But he said it quickly and without emotion — and even the judge noted that, if he felt remorse, it’s only come upon him in the last few days. And considering when he said it, Alicia’s parents had a hard time believing him, as well.

"We’ve been to just about every hearing for all 16 co-defendants," said her father, Greg Lannes. "Over the past nine months, the one consistent name mentioned throughout was Skylar Schnippel’s. He was the one who should have stepped up first and pled guilty — that would have showed my family he felt remorseful for what he did to Alicia."

Schnippel, 20, of Virginia Run, was a key member of the Centreville-based, heroin conspiracy and the last one of the 16 people arrested to be convicted. He pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and, after a bench trial, May 4-5, he was also found guilty of heroin distribution resulting in death, conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin resulting in death, and possession with intent to distribute heroin resulting in death.

Last Friday, July 24, he appeared in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to learn his punishment. First, though, Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Barnett explained the significance of the federal government’s actions and Lannes’s death.

"This sentence is the culmination of 16 arrests and convictions," he said. "In August 2008, investigators and police looked at what was going on in Centreville and realized three things: There was a heroin problem; as federal agents, we didn’t know a lot about heroin; and we had a pandemic — a public-health emergency. Young individuals were dying of heroin."

Barnett said the federal government got involved because it had jurisdiction — and the urgency of the situation required serious action. "We recognized that we had a singular role to play in stopping this pandemic — and then two individuals overdosed and died," he said. "In September 2008, a target of our investigation died of an overdose and we weren’t able to marshal the evidence against him in time to prevent his death. The others we arrested later told us their arrests saved their lives."

There were also other reasons the government took over the heroin prosecutions. "Unless individuals were wealthy and willing to get help, there were no tools available to help them fight their heroin addictions," said Barnett. "And there were no reactions by state and local government to this issue."

He said those interviewed during the investigation "told us about drugs we’d never heard of. One woman said she’d used a hallucinogen that lasted 24 hours. Person after person had long litanies of drugs they’d used. They’d progress from marijuana to prescription drugs to cocaine and heroin. They said the drugs were easy to come by — at schools, parties or from friends — and they learned from the Internet how to use them."

"They told us about these things and we were shocked — and we all have a lot of experience in these matters. But we haven’t seen any explanation as to why these individuals diverted into rampant, consistent, frequent drug use so that their whole lives revolved around it."

Barnett said the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted these cases "to bring attention to heroin use so that state, local and federal government, schools, churches, fraternal organizations — whatever was available — would step up. Because we cannot sit by while anybody dies of a drug overdose, we had to intervene." He said there have been some community meetings and discussions, as a result, but "We haven’t seen anyone take action to prevent this."

REGARDING ALICIA LANNES, who was Schnippel’s girlfriend, he said, "Her drug use was destined when she was sexually molested [at age 13] by strangers while on vacation with a friend’s family. She was a young woman of tremendous promise, but this event led to sleepless nights, depression and, finally, self-medication to try to deal with it." It also led her to heroin, and Barnett said the addicts interviewed told authorities that, after using it, "they had no worries or concerns."

He said Alicia’s parents "did everything they could" to get help for her. "Her mother even moved to Richmond when Alicia went to college, as a shoulder to cry on when Alicia’s demons caught up with her. Some people have said it was her choice to use heroin, but her actions weren’t always voluntary."

Still, said Barnett, "She saved 16 lives — a remarkable legacy for a young woman — because she sparked this investigation. It is a certainty that Daniel Nash is alive today because of this investigation. He would have died alone in his room with a needle beside him, if not for her. And Anna Richter told us Alicia’s death caused her to seek rehabilitation — and she now works in a rehabilitation facility helping others conquer addiction."

But Schnippel was undeterred. "Alicia’s death didn’t stop his heroin use," said Barnett. And by fall [2008], he was introducing another young woman to heroin."

A sentencing document submitted by Barnett and two other federal prosecutors detailed Schnippel’s involvement in the drug ring. They stated he was one of the earliest members of the conspiracy, and introduced several of the others to heroin for the first time. He first exposed J.R. Quick, David Schreider and Daniel Nash to heroin in 2006 and 2007; all three are now in prison.

Schnippel also sold cocaine to many of these same individuals prior to their involvement with heroin. And he continued dealing heroin, despite his own arrest by local police in July 2007 and Lannes’s two heroin overdoses in his presence in August and October 2007.

"It was the defendant who provided her heroin on March 4, 2008, while also supplying others with the drug that same night," wrote the prosecutors. "While she used the drugs in her parents’ basement and overdosed, he was communicating with her by telephone and text message. Several hours passed before he made any real effort to seek help for her. Alicia Lannes died as a result of using the heroin he gave her."

AND UNLIKE some of the co-defendants, said Barnett in court, "There was no clear reason why [Schnippel] started using heroin. We couldn’t find the childhood trauma or sense of loss. He had every advantage of family and luxuries available. It seemed much more of a choice for him. And at any point between 2006 and March 2008, he could have severed his involvement with the conspiracy."

In October 2008, the investigators requested his cooperation, to no avail. "We knew he had a roadmap — a good overview of this conspiracy — and we needed more concrete evidence so we could make arrests," said Barnett. "There were so many things he knew that he didn’t tell us about." They asked him again that December, but Schnippel still refused. Up to and including the day he was arrested, Feb. 19, 2009, he kept using and selling heroin to others.

"Furthermore, he was actively obstructing us — advocating a young woman withhold information from us — with no regard for the effect on her," said Barnett. "[Had she done so], she would have been prosecuted, too. His theme throughout was a disregard for the impact his actions had on others."

In the sentencing document, the prosecutors noted opportunities Schnippel will have after serving his sentence, adding, "That is something at least four other young people [who died of overdoses] have been denied."

In court, Barnett recommended Schnippel serve 20 years total for all his crimes. "We take no joy in this; young people will spend, perhaps, the best years of their lives in prison." But in Schnippel’s case, he said, "This sentence was determined by the defendant — driven by his conduct and the choices he made."

DEFENSE ATTORNEY Brendan Harold agreed with the 20 years, only requesting his client be placed as close to Centreville as possible and receive drug treatment in prison. Then Greg Lannes addressed the court. He said Alicia was born on Dec. 7 and, as "Pearl Harbor woke up this nation, Alicia’s death woke up this community, law enforcement and families to take action."

He described the bright, inquisitive child and good student she was before her sexual assault and resulting anxiety attacks. "It’s clear to [my wife] Donna and I that Skylar saw her anxiety attacks and talked her into using heroin," said Greg Lannes. "After one of Alicia’s overdoses, I asked him to take care of and protect her and he promised he would. But it was all lies; he was the one pulling her down."

Talking directly to Schnippel, Lannes said, "Do you remember me telling you the world would come down on you and there’d be hell to pay, if not? That day is today; little did I know that world would be the U.S. government. Federal prison can be a beginning so you can someday become a productive person. May God watch over you and guide you."

Then, saying her daughter’s potential will never be realized, Donna Lannes called Schnippel a coward, a liar, thoughtless and indifferent. "How many times did you inject her with a lethal dose — and walk away?" she asked. "You wanted to quiet her but, in the end, Alicia’s being heard. May your days behind bars bring you some of the same heartache and pain you caused Alicia."

Like others who’ve lost a child, she said, "We asked ourselves where was our God, and Alicia’s guardian angels?" she said. "Where was the Protector of children?" But, she said, crying, "The angels and her Protector were, in fact, with her all the time. God sent Alicia to open eyes and hearts and turn them from darkness to light. Alicia victoriously survives in eternity."

Then Schnippel stood and apologized, adding, "I loved Alicia; it’s my loss, too."

Judge Leonie Brinkema called the case "among the most aggravated" of the 16. "You really didn’t get the message," she told Schnippel. "And your [attempt] to obstruct justice is a significant, aggravating factor."

She said his conduct after Alicia’s death — and after others were arrested and the government asked for his help — was "just unconscionable." She then sentenced him to 20 years "to punish and deter you and to send a clear message. You can’t use and sell drugs and, when it’s obvious you’re being caught, you don’t go out and obstruct justice and try to get others to commit crimes for you."

Brinkema said she’d recommend him for the prison system’s 500-hour, intensive, drug-treatment program and ask he be housed as close to Northern Virginia as possible. Upon his release, he’s to have no contact with the co-defendants, remain drug- and alcohol-free and undergo substance-abuse and mental-health treatment. He must also share the cost of $21,497 restitution to the Lannes family with Quick and Nash.

Afterward, Greg Lannes said he and his wife understand Brinkema’s difficulty in sentencing someone so young to such a long prison term. "One day, Skylar will understand what he did and, hopefully, realize Alicia’s death gave him life," said Lannes. "In the years to come, only when he is released and starts his family will he thank Alicia."

Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for Virginia’s Eastern District, said, "We hope this sentence will be a strong deterrent to other young people. Our thoughts and condolences are with those who have lost loved ones as a result of this conspiracy, and our thanks go to the men and women who brought those responsible to justice."

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Indaknow ()
Date: July 30, 2009 08:06PM

Yep wrote:

>Read the Pre Sentencing Report online about Aycock and Remmington.



Hey Yep, where did you read the presentence reports?

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Crazy ()
Date: July 31, 2009 10:01AM

Quote from Article:

AND UNLIKE some of the co-defendants, said Barnett in court, "There was no clear reason why [Schnippel] started using heroin. We couldn’t find the childhood trauma or sense of loss. He had every advantage of family and luxuries available. It seemed much more of a choice for him.
*****************************************************************************


I did not know that addiction discriminated and that you had to have trauma in your life in order to have a reason to use drugs. Is this prosecutor serious. Every drug addiction group and counselor should write to Barnett and ask him to really clarify what he is trying to say here. If that were the case, why would anyone do drugs. Look at the actors, pro sport figures, news anchors, what is there reason. choice yes, however addiction grabs you. Everyone does it the first time by choice.

He is making an excuse because he received such backlash for singling out this boy over the other co-defendants. Change the name and input any of the other co-defendants such as Anna Richter, Danny Nash, Taylor Gibson, and guess what, the outcome would be the same as they were everywhere in this mess also and they could say that they were everywhere in the conspiracy which they all were. The more I read about this, the more I distrust the system.

For Barnett to say that a target of their investigation died before they had enough evidence should piss all of you off. The police had him working for them. They knew he was using and selling. Don't you think they could have gone to him directly and the parents to inform them. NO, they wanted a bust. Instead, his death is on their hands. I feel for his parents.

As for the Lannes, it is quite obvious that they did not know their daughter and the guilt associated with the fact that they did nothing to curb her addiction when they knew she had one. That is the driving force around their anger. They have to blame everyone except Alicia as she used by choice in order to alleviate their guilt of no action. Fact is that all her friends know how she was and how she loved to party.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Date: July 31, 2009 12:36PM

joe woa Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The NAACP expresses a deep concern over the
> widespread use of narcotics in the black community
> of McKeesport. We have had three youths killed by
> the merchants of heroin in the past two months. We
> have the widespread, blatant sale of heroin on our
> street corners between Eleventh and Twelfth
> Streets. The merchants of heroin are permitted to
> peddle their poison without the slightest
> intervention from any law enforcement agency. How
> many more of our youngsters must die before the
> merchants of heroin are at least intimidated?
> There has not been a single drug raid, and we have
> had two deaths in the same boarding house. We have
> seen police officers sit in their cars while the
> merchants of heroin carry on Business as Usual,
> and we wonder if this same attitude would have
> prevailed if the three young victims had been
> white.

well you live in the fucking ghetto. this is fairfax underground not anacostia underground. thats why were not talking about what goes on in the fucking ghetto.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: joe woa ()
Date: August 01, 2009 01:06AM

i am just trying to point out that the whole situation is unfair and pretty fucking crazy 30 days compared to 20 years plus how many people die from drug overdoses each year and no one is sentenced to 20 years

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Date: August 01, 2009 06:19PM

oh ok, well then i agree. these sentences are a waste of both taxpayers hard earned money and these kids lives. ship em off to rehab and bootcamp for a hell of a lot cheaper and i bet 9/10 of these kids would turn their lives around. also, the fact that the judge said skylar had no reason to explain his drug use is ridiculous. i didnt know addiction only happened to people from broken homes.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Man ()
Date: August 03, 2009 12:51PM

un-fairfax aboveground Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> oh ok, well then i agree. these sentences are a
> waste of both taxpayers hard earned money and
> these kids lives. ship em off to rehab and
> bootcamp for a hell of a lot cheaper and i bet
> 9/10 of these kids would turn their lives around.
> also, the fact that the judge said skylar had no
> reason to explain his drug use is ridiculous. i
> didnt know addiction only happened to people from
> broken homes.


A very true statement. This whole thing is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: what ?? ()
Date: August 04, 2009 09:31PM

un-fairfax aboveground,

I agree, those that did go to rehab did turn their lives around, plus message to all, go to rehab and the courts will look favorable on you, even if their are sentencing guidelines. Clearly the case with Remmington, Aycock, Richter, Gibson and even Megale, who went to bootcamp and will go to rehab within a year.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Date: August 04, 2009 11:55PM

it also helps to be an "innocent" girl that gets "used"

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Ha Ha ()
Date: August 05, 2009 08:53AM

As said before... Alot of the kids couldnt leave there home for rehab... because of being pulled over all the time. I read also what un-farifax aboveground said I hope you are making a funny... because that statement is a trip...

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: What ?? ()
Date: August 05, 2009 10:11AM

You cannot be serious thinking any of these kids could not go to rehab because of the police. Their just no truth to that! Get your fact straight before making dumb comments like that! While their maybe some issues with the FFCP handling of this issue, preventing kids from going to rehab is not one of them!

The problem for rehab is their is not a whole lot of options here in Northern VA, and in many cases very expensive and your not sure if it is going to work. Tough choices to make!

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: parents must be very proud ()
Date: August 05, 2009 12:33PM

Ha Ha Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As said before... Alot of the kids couldnt leave
> there home for rehab... because of being pulled
> over all the time. I read also what un-farifax
> aboveground said I hope you are making a funny...
> because that statement is a trip...


Exactly how many times were they pulled between here and Baltimore while picking up heroin shipments and bringing them back to sell??. The only victims in this case are taxpayers whose money was wasted on their education and rehabilitation. Losers all.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: 12 stepper ()
Date: August 05, 2009 02:06PM

What ?? Wrote:
>
> The problem for rehab is their is not a whole lot
> of options here in Northern VA, and in many cases
> very expensive and your not sure if it is going to
> work. Tough choices to make!


NA is free and effective. As effective as a high priced rehab if a person wants to get clean. After all, if you don't get step one, you'll never be successful.

I am powerless over...

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: What ?? ()
Date: August 05, 2009 02:43PM

NA is very good program to coincide with rehab and for continued support after rehab but is not rehab it self. With heroin, one must first detox which is a difficult first step and should be done in a supervised manor of some sort. I think that first step is a tough one! Many rehab programs follow NA 12-step program, very effective if you stay with it.

A-lon is a very good program for family members of a addict to listen and learn from others and learn you are not alone.

12 stepper thank you for bringing NA into the discussion. This is the type of information that should be going out on this discussion at this point. While the 16 have all been dealt with, I think there is more to follow in this area. If some parent is reading this and has a concern about their own child, you do have options.

ADS at your local school, A-lon meetings, your own doctor. Plus I'm sure other will also come up with other resources.

Thank you again 12 Stepper!

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: shakingmyhead ()
Date: August 05, 2009 03:28PM

well hopefully whatever prison Skylar is sent to will have a decent rehab aspect to it, as well as NA. I wonder if anything would have been different in his sentencing if he had gone to rehab? perhaps the judge would have seen him more as an addict than a scumbag.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: for sure ()
Date: August 05, 2009 03:30PM

shakingmyhead Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> well hopefully whatever prison Skylar is sent to
> will have a decent rehab aspect to it, as well as
> NA. I wonder if anything would have been
> different in his sentencing if he had gone to
> rehab? perhaps the judge would have seen him more
> as an addict than a scumbag.


Maybe he saw him as both, everybody else has

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Law101 ()
Date: August 05, 2009 04:25PM

You all obviously have missed the fact that the only reason he was caught up in this is that his girlfriend went home by herself and used the dope in which she purchased with her own money. Read the details in the court records. Anyone who thinks that he sold the stuff has all the facts wrong. He was an addict and so was she. They hung around the individuals like Quick, Nash, Richter, and Gibson in order to get some for free or purchase it.

Remember the facts, Alicia drove to his house to meet to get high. He was told by his parents to come back home after they found out that he snuck out. She went home and did the drugs all by herself in her bedroom down the hall from her parents. So, I ask this. Why is he responsible again for her own reckless behavior and her own actions? Hmmm?

Has our world changed so much that we have to now be responsible for everyone else actions? Guess so since we are a sue happy country. I guess it has as the sentencing disparity in this was off the charts ranging from 30 days to 20 years.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Ignatz Mouse ()
Date: August 05, 2009 05:51PM

Law101 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Remember the facts, Alicia drove to his house to
> meet to get high. He was told by his parents to
> come back home after they found out that he snuck
> out. She went home and did the drugs all by
> herself in her bedroom down the hall from her
> parents. So, I ask this. Why is he responsible
> again for her own reckless behavior and her own
> actions? Hmmm?


He's responsible because his actions ("the facts") satisfy the elements of the crime (i.e., he's responsible both for his own reckless behavior, and the result of his reckless behavior).

To wit:

21 USC Sec. 841

(a) Unlawful acts

Except as authorized by this subchapter, it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally -

     (1) to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance; or

     (2) to create, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense, a counterfeit substance.

(b) Penalties
Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be sentenced as follows:

     (1)(A) In the case of a violation of subsection (a) of this section involving -
....
          (viii) ...death or serious bodily injury... from the use of such substance shall be not less than 20 years or more than life.

http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/csa/841.htm

Law 101, my friend. You may not like it, or think it's fair, but there's no question whatsoever that Schnippel violated the above law, thus exposing himself to a penalty of "not less than 20 years".

A separate, but obviously related issue is whether the prosecutors abused their discretion in charging Schnippel with the full penalty under the law, while allowing others, seemingly guilty of the same crime, to get off with a much lighter charge.

It's certainly debatable, but at least arguably Schnippel's actions were more egregious than other, similarly situated defendants - and thus warranted a harsher penalty - because of (i) his knowledge of the decedent's prior overdoses; and (ii) his failure to seek help (i.e., call 911) after he knew Lannes had OD'd.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Vince(1) ()
Date: August 05, 2009 07:04PM

Most recreational drugs should be decriminalized and users provided treatment...not prison.

Registered Voter...a Big talking coward..big man on FFXU...little man in life.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: What ?? ()
Date: August 06, 2009 03:05PM

Vince (1), your comment of decriminalizing recreational drugs is not relevant to this discussion as no one in their right mind would consider heroin a recreational drug!!!

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: shakingmyhead ()
Date: August 06, 2009 04:46PM

where can you read the court records?

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Vince(1) ()
Date: August 06, 2009 05:02PM

What ?? Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Vince (1), your comment of decriminalizing
> recreational drugs is not relevant to this
> discussion as no one in their right mind would
> consider heroin a recreational drug!!!


Thus why they need therapy and not prison time.

Registered Voter...a Big talking coward..big man on FFXU...little man in life.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Yes ()
Date: August 07, 2009 10:04AM

These young people have lost alot by using and becoming addicts... each one of them grew up together from young children to adult hood...it effects them to know that they will have to pull this time without being able to have someone to support them...other than their parents... I dont think that any of these young adults meant to hurt each other in the way that they did... The boys got a very tough sentence and I hope that in the end... that they can put this behind them and move on... it will be hard with this on their record but it can be done... I hope that people that are on this site realize... we are talking about young adults being addicts... go on goodle and read that heroin is one of the easiest drugs to get addicted to and one of the hardest to walk away from.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: sadness ()
Date: August 07, 2009 03:31PM

Yes Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> These young people have lost alot by using and
> becoming addicts... each one of them grew up
> together from young children to adult hood...it
> effects them to know that they will have to pull
> this time without being able to have someone to
> support them...other than their parents... I dont
> think that any of these young adults meant to hurt
> each other in the way that they did... The boys
> got a very tough sentence and I hope that in the
> end... that they can put this behind them and move
> on... it will be hard with this on their record
> but it can be done... I hope that people that are
> on this site realize... we are talking about young
> adults being addicts... go on goodle and read that
> heroin is one of the easiest drugs to get addicted
> to and one of the hardest to walk away from.

Very well said

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Vince(1) ()
Date: August 08, 2009 10:36PM

In prison they will truly learn the hard lessons in life and most likely come out more hardened and desperate middle aged men incapable of holding a job...of course unless they find jjeeeesus! Awaste of money..and a waste of human life..without a single lesson to be learned.

Registered Voter...a Big talking coward..big man on FFXU...little man in life.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2009 10:37PM by Vince(1).

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Date: August 09, 2009 01:50AM

Vince(1) Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A waste of money..and a waste of human
> life..without a single lesson to be learned.

+ INFINITY

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: iLovecentreville ()
Date: August 09, 2009 02:28AM

Out of all the areas around here, I'm not surprised this happened in Centreville.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: What ?? ()
Date: August 09, 2009 08:58AM

I agree with you Yes

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Baretta ()
Date: August 09, 2009 10:36AM

un-fairfax aboveground Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Vince(1) Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > A waste of money..and a waste of human
> > life..without a single lesson to be learned.
>
> + INFINITY


It's all a tremendous waste, and a tragedy, but the lesson to be learned is a familiar one:

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: what ?? ()
Date: August 10, 2009 03:10PM

IloveCentreville,

think your comment about not being surprised is narrow minded, I think it is more of a case of the kids in centreville being caught! while this cased involved four deaths in 2008, their were 14 reported heroin death in fairfax county last year, what the deal on those 10?????

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Shocked now ()
Date: August 10, 2009 06:26PM

what ?? Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> think your comment about not being surprised is
> narrow minded, I think it is more of a case of the
> kids in centreville being caught! while this cased
> involved four deaths in 2008, their were 14
> reported heroin death in fairfax county last year,
> what the deal on those 10?????



No deal on the other deaths because they were treated as an accidental death of an addict. They do not prosecute for this. This case was entirely fueled by the Lannes guilt and denial of their daughters addiction and they got the Feds involved by constant pushing. They wanted someone to blame but themselves. With that new information, it is now more clearer than before. They should be ashamed as their daughter was just as culpable as the others involved as they all were friends and hung out together. They all were addicts to the terrible drug and that is why they need rehab instead of jail time. They could have used this as a means of helping others and not hurting. They said that they helped them but is jail really help?

Truly shocked now.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Get Real ()
Date: August 10, 2009 07:31PM

Shocked now Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> They should be ashamed as their daughter was just as culpable as
> the others involved as they all were friends and
> hung out together.


Schnippel and several others were culpable of both (i) selling heroin, and (ii) actively promoting the use of, and selling heroin to non-users.

I'm not aware that Alicia Lannes engaged in either (i) or (ii). It's therefore ridiculous to say she's just as culpable as the others.

The second of these, in particular - enticing non-users to try the drug - is an especially egregious, evil crime.

Her parents have been demonized on this board. Perhaps they deserve the criticism; I don't know enough about the facts of the case, in particular how the prosecutors actually went about the process of deciding how to charge individuals.

When I look at some of the sentencing disparities, the overall case strikes me as something of a mockery of justice. And I'm not unsympathetic to the pov that some or maybe most of these kids deserve treatment far more than jail time.

But with respect to Schnippel, not only was he guilty of (i) and (ii), he also recklessly and stupidly attempted to influence a witness's testimony.

If you engage in that kind of behavior, no one should be shocked if prosecutors deal with you very harshly indeed.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: hammer ()
Date: August 10, 2009 07:52PM

Like most criminals, they are very sorry and remorseful after they are caught. Giving away drugs so that others become dependant and ruin their futures deserves the 20 years they received, in a few months or years the pukes that dodged the prison bullit will be continuing to trash their lives and making those around them miserable, those in prison will have plenty of time to think about the ruined lives they have left in their selfish wake and perhaps come out better than they went in. Where does anyone think this would have have ended if some intervention had not occured, Have we already forgotten the fiasco a few years ago at Centreville HS where another group of individuals that thought they were so smart that they could do as they pleased until it resulted in a murder for hire case. History will repeat itself over and over

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Rechecking the Facts ()
Date: August 10, 2009 10:00PM

While the Lannes' have made no secret in the press that they were actively involved in these prosecutions to avenge their daughter's boyfriend's callous contribution to the events that ultimately resulted in her death, they also made it clear that they wanted the cycle of heroin addiction to end in the community and were willing to put a personal face on that campaign. To that end, they took an active role in all the prosecutions (even cases that were not directly linked to Alicia's death like the Robinson, Woodson and Falls Church arrests) and have attended or supported community forums on drug use among teens. They have repeatedly stated that they want to save lives.

With regard to allegations of "unfair treatment" for Schnippel, he was not the only defendant sentenced for "distribution resulting in death" and Alicia's death was not the only one prosecuted under this charge. They all resulted in a 20 year sentence for the person(s) responsible for a distribution directly linked to a death. Take the time to look back and you will find the following individuals received the same treatment as Schnippel on the same charge:

02/27/09 - Daniel Nash of Centreville received a 20 year sentence for distribution resulting in Alicia Lannes' death. Early reports did not indicate that he would be charged with the tougher crime of distribution leading to death, but he admitted to purchasing and passing the lethal dose from JR Quick to Schnippel and pleaded guilty to the charge on 12/9. The March 5, 2009 issue of Centreview quotes his attorney as stating that "he failed drug treatment four times, so being arrested probably saved his life."

02/27/09 - Joshua R (JR) Quick of Centreville and Manassas received a slightly reduced 19 year sentence for heroin distribution resulting in death because he had already served 355 days in jail for state charges related to his role in the heroin distribution that led to her death as well as other charges associated with his involvement in drug distribution in Fairfax and Prince William Counties. The March 5, 2009 Centreview reported that he had been incarcerated since April 2008 on state charges and was out on bond for other charges when he supplied the heroin that killed Alicia, At his Federal sentencing, the judge was reported as saying that "he kept dealing drugs after every arrest" and "the worst thing that happened to Quick was getting out on bond."

04/15/09 - Matthew Greenlee of Fairfax received a 20 year sentence for heroin distribution resulting in the 9/7/08 death of Carmen Somers from Falls Church. Not part of the original round of arrests, Mr. Greenlee was arrested in January of 2009 and Ms. Somers was reported to be the fourth death linked to the Fairfax County heroin distribution ring. The November and December 2008 arrests that included Schnippel, Quick and Nash were reported to have resulted in 3 deaths (Alicia Lannes, Duncan Parker, and an undisclosed "third" person).

Antonio Harper was also originally charged with heroin distribution resulting in death, but those charges were amended prior to his guilty plea. He received 26 years on the amended charges of conspiracy and weapons use.

Of the 16 defendants in these Federal charges, 5 received 20 years or more in prison. All of these individuals were reported to be continuing to distribute heroin despite arrests and deaths. The opportunity to rehab was clearly not going to stop them from spreading this insipid drug in our community.

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: You know ()
Date: August 10, 2009 11:42PM

Rechecking the facts;

Duncan Parker was not part of the Schnippel, Quick, and Nash sentencing as he was a taret of the investigation in which the prosecuter per Bonnie Hobbs article said they did not act fast enough. Schnippel's case was only about Alicia Lannes' death. The obstruction of justice charge was a joke if you have read the text messages that were sent. Go online and read them. The sorry thing is that it did not matter as it all occurred prior to the November charges.

I think what everyone is forgetting is that Schnippel and Lannes were boyfriend and girlfriend for 2 years and she was a big partier prior to them dating. They shared the drugs together and used together according to what everyone says. Facts are that he was called home, he was not there. However in our world, you are now responsible for everyone else. Be careful who you lend your car to or a cocktail at your house. Scary world we live in when no one is responsible for there own actions. She had a choice to make and she made it. It is always easy to point figures and say there is the bad guy. It is hard to believe what you now see and read in the news.

Later

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Re: Heroin Ring Busted in Centreville
Posted by: Westfield Blues ()
Date: August 10, 2009 11:45PM

Rechecking the Facts Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> With regard to allegations of "unfair treatment" for Schnippel, he was not the
> only defendant sentenced for "distribution resulting in death" and Alicia's death
> was not the only one prosecuted under this charge. They all resulted in a 20 year
> sentence for the person(s) responsible for a distribution directly linked to a death.


Thanks for clarifying these facts.

However, you didn't mention the cases of Jessica Remington and Angela Aycock.

On July 28, 2009, mustknow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Feds said to Remmington and Aycock,
> we will charge you with distribution that resulted
> in death with a sentence of 20 years unless you
> plead quilty to this other lesser charge. Given
> the choice, take the other charge. This shows
> that the prosecution has too much power to be able
> to pick and choose.


Although many factors can be involved in charging and suggested-sentencing
decisions, if what mustknow wrote is accurate, it does at least raise a question
of prosecutorial abuse of discretion.

In particular, while her efforts at rehabilitation are commendable, Aycock's
behavior appears to have been particularly egregious, in that she "introduced
'many, many people' to Harper so she could get heroin for free or at a reduced price,"
as reported in the Connection (CentreView, Northern Edition, July 23-29, 2009).

If in fact both she and Remington engaged in distribution resulting in death, why
were they not so charged? This apparent leniency towards one gender (by a judge
of the same gender) seems an artifact of an earlier era, and ill-placed in 2009.

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