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Date: 10-11-2019

Case Style:

United States of America v. Terry Lee Christian

Case Number: 1:18-cr-00630-SO

Judge: Solomon Oliver, Jr.

Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Cuyahoga County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: Vasile Katsaros and Kathry Andrachik

Defendant's Attorney:

Call 888-354-4529 if you need help finding a criminal defense lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio for a Distribution of Controlled Substances (Death or Serious Bodily Injury Resulting from Use of Controlled Substance) case.


Cleveland, OH - Cleveland man pleads guilty to selling drugs that resulted in fatal overdose inside downtown hotel last year

A Cleveland man pleaded guilty to selling drugs that resulted in a fatal overdose of a man inside a hotel in downtown Cleveland last year.

Terry Lee Christian, 36, was indicted Wednesday on one count of distribution of controlled substances, which included a sentencing enhancement for causing death. He is scheduled to be sentenced January 17, 2020.

Christian admitted to causing the death of a person identified in court papers as S.K. on July 13.

“This case demonstrates yet again that there are no safe street drugs, and the drug dealers who sell them, like this defendant, are focused only on their own interests,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “By all accounts, the victim in this case believed he was buying cocaine, not fentanyl. People should assume that the cocaine they are buying on the street contains fentanyl and can kill them, even in small doses. Unfortunately the victim in this case is just one of hundreds who have died from cocaine and fentanyl mixes in Cuyahoga County since last year.”

“This case highlights the collaboration between the Cleveland Division of Police Heroin Death Investigators, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Cuyahoga County Regional Forensic Science Laboratory and the Northern Ohio United States District Attorney’s Office,” said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin D. Williams. “The indictment of Mr. Christian should serve as an example to those trafficking in these dangerous and deadly narcotics. Through thorough investigations and the efforts of the attorneys who prosecute the cases, these criminals can be held accountable at the highest level.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin said: “This death underscores the seriousness of the opioid crisis plaguing northern Ohio and the need for dedicated collaboration from law enforcement. The DEA, Cleveland Division of Police and the United States Attorney’s Office will continue to expend our time, energy and resources in an effort to stem the tide against this epidemic.”

Members of the Cleveland Division of Police’s Heroin Involved Death Investigations Unit responded to a drug overdose at a hotel room in Cleveland on July 14, 2018. Officers observed a bag of suspected cocaine on the dresser and suspected cocaine residue on the dresser and bathroom vanity, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

The narcotics were tested and found to be a mixture of heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. The packaging material was tested and DNA found on the package matched Christian, according to the affidavit.

A review of the victim’s phone and other evidence revealed the man who overdosed met with Christian on July 13 and several calls between them on that day. Shortly after the calls and meeting, the man who ovedosed made a hand-to-hand transaction with someone in a minivan, according to the affidavit.

The Cleveland Division of Police and Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case.


21:841(b)(1)(C) Distribution of Controlled Substances (Death or Serious Bodily Injury Resulting from Use of Controlled Substance).

21:843(b) Use of Communications Facility to Facilitate a Felony Drug Offense.

Outcome: 10/09/2019 Minutes of proceedings [non-document] before Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Parker. Change of Plea Hearing as to Terry Lee Christian (1) held on 10/9/2019. Vasile C. Katsaros present as counsel for the government. Timothy C. Ivey present as counsel for defendant. Consent to order of referral to Magistrate Judge for purposes of receiving defendant's plea of guilty executed. Plea of guilty entered as to count 1 of the indictment with plea agreement. Defendant referred to Pretrial/Probation for preparation of a Presentence Investigation Report. Sentencing set for 1/17/2020 at 11:00 AM in Chambers 17A before Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. Defendant remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending sentencing. (Court Reporter/ECRO: G. Jeskey. Time: 50 minutes). (D,JJ) (Entered: 10/09/2019)
10/09/2019 20 Consent to order of referral to Magistrate Judge for purposes of receiving plea of guilty as to Terry Lee Christian (1). (D,JJ) (Entered: 10/09/2019)
10/09/2019 21 Report and Recommendation on Plea of Guilty as to Terry Lee Christian (1). Objections to Report & Recommendation due by 10/23/2019. Referral to Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Parker terminated. Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Parker on 10/9/2019. (D,JJ) (Entered: 10/09/2019)

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