ATLANTA — An Atlanta college student died of an overdose in April 2018, and now a local drug trafficker has been sentenced to more than a decade in prison for his death.
DeAngelo Copeland, of Atlanta, has been sentenced for selling heroin and admitting that his distribution resulted in the overdose death of the student, the Department of Justice said.
The 37-year-old was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in prison, as well as five years of supervised released. He pleaded guilty to distributing heroin on Sept. 9, 2021.
“Copeland’s heroin distribution led to yet another drug overdose death in our community,” U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said in a news release. “Opioid overdoses will be investigated and prosecuted as a federal priority and those who sell this poison will be held accountable for the death and suffering that it causes.”
On April 10, 2018, officers responded to a 911 call seeking medical attention for a 22-year-old college student. They had died of a heroin overdose that night, the DOJ said. Investigators discovered that the student ordered the heroin from Copeland through a series of text messages earlier that same afternoon-- leading to an exchange outside of the student's apartment.
Investigators identified Copeland as the dealer by arranging an undercover drug deal through the same phone number that Copeland used on April 10, 2018. Copeland sold drugs to an undercover officer on multiple occasions inside his car, the DOJ said. Copeland admitted to trafficking heroin and acknowledged that the heroin he sold the student caused their death.
The DOJ said Copeland has a history of drug trafficking offenses.