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Crime and Courts

Colorado woman gets prison for fatal heroin sale after U.S. attorney vows to treat overdose deaths as homicides

Kayla Pagano of Westminster learned her sentence Wednesday in Denver in the death of an unidentified woman in May 2018

A Colorado woman has been sentenced to over six years in federal prison for selling heroin blamed for killing another woman.

Twenty-four-year-old Kayla Pagano of Westminster learned her sentence Wednesday in Denver in the death of an unidentified woman in May 2018. According to Pagano’s plea agreement, the woman passed out after using the heroin and her body was found in an alley in Denver.

Another woman accused of arranging the drug deal, Ariel Walker, has pleaded guilty to distribution of heroin resulting in death. She is scheduled to be sentenced in December.

U.S. Attorney Jason R. Dunn says he hopes drug dealers are getting the message that, if someone dies as a result of their actions, they will spend time in federal prison. It’s a controversial approach that has received some criticism.

MORE: Colorado’s new U.S. attorney wants law enforcement to treat overdose deaths as homicides as he focuses on opioids

“You have dealers who either know they are selling fentanyl instead of heroin or know that it has already caused death and continue to sell it,” Dunn told The Colorado Sun in April. “We think they’ve met the required element that they can be charged.”


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