Md. man pleads guilty to role in massive fentanyl ring

WASHINGTON — A Washington County, Maryland, man has pleaded guilty to his involvement in a fentanyl distribution ring that was behind the overdose deaths of two Pennsylvania men — and that distributed almost enough fentanyl to kill everyone in the county.

Federal prosecutors in Baltimore said in a statement Friday that Antoine Jamel Henderson, 35, of Hagerstown, admitted to distributing at least 280 grams of fentanyl in Washington County beginning at least as far back as last year until his arrest this January.

Prosecutors said in the statement that two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal. There are about 150,000 people in Washington County, the Census Bureau estimates.

Henderson also knew that the fentanyl his ring was distributing had caused overdoses, both fatal and nonfatal, they said.

Investigators bought fentanyl from Henderson or his co-defendant, whom they didn’t identify, in August and September of last year. On Jan. 17 of this year, they raided two houses connected to the drug organization, including Henderson’s home, and found fentanyl and drug paraphernalia.

Henderson will be sentenced in January. The plea agreement, which the court must still approve of, calls for 10 to 15 years in prison.

“We’re particularly targeting those who sell fentanyl, the drug that is killing the most of our citizens,” U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said in the statement. “Drug traffickers are on notice that dealing in fentanyl increases their odds of federal prosecution.”

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