Dubuque man faces life sentence after woman ODs on heroin

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OMAHA, Nebraska (KCRG-TV9) -- A federal jury has convicted a Dubuque man after authorities said he caused the overdose death of a female last year.

Richard L. Parker, 47, was convicted by a jury on for distribution of heroin within 1000 feet of an elementary school and a playground, resulting in death, also the charge of possession with intent to distribute heroin within 1,000 feet of an elementary school and a playground.

In a news release, authorities said the Northern District of Iowa jury took a little more than two hours to return the guilty verdict. Jurors also found Parker not guilty on a distribution of cocaine charge.

“The opioid epidemic is capable of destroying lives and neighborhoods,” Associate Special Agent in Charge Barden said in the release. “This individual not only sold this lethal poison causing his victim to lose her life, he peddled this poison within a school zone completely indifferent to the dangers he placed innocent children at risk of. DEA is proud of the efforts made by our investigators and law enforcement partners in this investigation, who work as hard as they can to keep tragedies like this from being common in our neighborhoods and communities.”

Authorities alleged Parker headed to Chicago, April 2017 to pick up an amount of heroin. Parker was then planning on selling it in the Dubuque area.

"On Easter Sunday, 2017, Parker was at a residence with others where he provided heroin to his female victim," said Doug Dorley, a public information officer with the Department of Justice. "Parker’s victim used that heroin, and shortly thereafter, stopped breathing.

Dorley said emergency crews were called in but were unable to save the woman's life.

"During trial Parker admitted that while medical personnel attempted to revive his victim, he went into another room of the residence to hide the remaining heroin he had in his possession," said Dorley. "Investigators later found this heroin."

Because Parker has four prior felony drug convictions, Dorley said the man faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison.

Read the original version of this article at www.kcrg.com.