Opioid Dealer Pleads Guilty in Fatal Heroin Overdose

A former Northern Virginia resident pleaded guilty Friday to distribution of heroin that resulted in the death of a Leesburg man in March 2016.  

According to court documents, John Jacob Stapleton, 33, who most recently resided in Fort Pierce, FL, regularly obtained illegal opioids from suppliers that he and others distributed to customers within Loudoun County and the greater Washington, DC, Metropolitan area. In March 2016, Stapleton distributed heroin that resulted in the death of a former Loudoun County resident. 

A forensic toxicologist determined that the victim’s blood and vitreous humor each contained a combination of morphine and 6-acetylmorhpine, and a forensic pathologist determined the death was caused by heroin poisoning. Further investigation by law enforcement officials revealed that the victim overdosed on heroin that another individual obtained directly from Stapleton.   

Stapleton pleaded guilty to distribution of heroin resulting in serious bodily injury and death. He faces a sentence of 20 years to life in federal prison. Sentencing is scheduled for April 17. 

This case was investigated by the Washington Field Office’s Safe Streets/HIDTA Task Force which is composed of Agents and Task Force Officers from the Leesburg Police Department, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the Fairfax County Police, the Prince William County Police, the Alexandria City Police, the Vienna Police Department, the Herndon Police Department, the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Homeland Security, and in cooperation with the DEA, ATF and USMS.

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