Harrisonburg woman pleads guilty to distributing deadly drug mix

By  | 

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — A Harrisonburg woman has pleaded guilty to distributing a mixture of heroin and fentanyl that resulted in a fatal overdose in 2017.

Fentanyl in "rock" form, Photo Date: 8/30/2018. (Source: USCBP)

According to court documents, a Matthew Jason Murphy was found dead of an overdose on December 13, 2017. Investigators concluded the death was caused by an overdose on heroin and fentanyl and learned that the day before, 31-year-old Iza Mar Rosario-Cruzado had distributed a mixture of both drugs to Richard Mansfield, who then gave the drugs to the victim.

On September 12 of 2018, Mansfield pleaded guilty to one count of distributing a mixture of heroin and fentanyl.

Now, nearly a year later to the day, Rosario-Cruzado pleaded guilty to the same charge as Mansfield's supplier.

“Heroin laced with fentanyl is driving the opioid epidemic that has ravaged our district for the last several years,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated. “We will continue to work closely with our state and local partners to investigate and prosecute cases involving overdose deaths and hold dealers accountable under federal law.”

“This sentence is a great example of our efforts to keep our local communities safe from the spread of drugs. Heroin and fentanyl are extremely deadly substances and those who spread this poison across our cities, acting with blatant disregard for the lives of the people who live here, will not be tolerated,” said Special Against in Charge Jesse R. Fong of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington Field Division. “This case is a testament to the hard work DEA and our law enforcement partners do every day to keep these dangerous drugs out of the hands of our loved ones.”

Rosario-Cruzado will be face sentencing on December 17, where she could be given 12 to 16 years in federal prison thanks to her plea deal.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Virginia State Police, and Harrisonburg Police Department investigated the case, with the assistance of Rockingham County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha L. Garst.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeb Terrien is prosecuting the case for the United States.