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Woman pleads guilty to providing drugs that killed Boonsboro teen

Prescription drugs were sold to high school students

Prescription drugs were sold to high school students

January 24, 2008

BALTIMORE ? Former Boonsboro resident Kathleen Ann Harris pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances resulting in the death of a Boonsboro teen last summer, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein said.

According to the plea agreement, Harris, 39, now of Olney, Md., and a co-conspirator began selling prescription drugs including methadone and various brands of oxycodone and hydrocodone in 2006.

Harris was able to obtain the drugs because she had medical problems that allowed her to get prescriptions from physicians, who were unaware that she intended to sell the drugs, the press release said.

Among the customers of Harris and her co-conspirator were a group of high school students in Western Maryland.

For approximately six months, Harris' co-conspirator sold the drugs he obtained from Harris to the students and to other customers, the press release said.

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On July 25, 2007, Harris and her co-conspirator went to one student's home to sell drugs and drank alcohol while there, the release says.

Harris handed the student a quantity of methadone pills from her purse and received cash from the student who died in bed late that night or the following day, the press release says.

According to the medical examiner's report, the student died of methadone and alcohol intoxication.

The investigation began in July, said Kyle Williamson, resident agent in charge at the Drug Enforcement Administration in Hagerstown.

The alleged distribution had a big impact in the Hagerstown, Boonsboro and Smithsburg areas, Williamson said in published reports in October.

Harris faces a minimum sentence of 20 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has not scheduled a date for sentencing.

The co-conspirator, Robert Carroll Eichelberger, 36, of Hagerstown, is expected to appear in court in April. He also was indicted in September on drug charges.

If convicted, Eichelberger also faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of the two additional distribution counts.

Rosenstein credited the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Maryland State Police, the Washington County Narcotics Task Force and Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore and his office for their investigative work.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Harding prosecuted the case.

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