Federal authorities say the Birmingham man accused of selling heroin to a University of Alabama student who died from an overdose last year is now in custody after being a fugitive for months.
Patropius Foster, 34, was arrested this month in Atlanta and was indicted on Wednesday.
Foster was one of 49 people indicted in a multi-agency heroin trafficking investigation that launched in September 2013. Of the 49 people who were indicted, 39 have pleaded guilty and 36 have been sentenced, according to U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance's Office.
Foster is accused of distributing heroin on March 19, 2013, that resulted in the death of a UA student the next day. Baker Mims, 20, died of a suspected heroin overdose at The Woodlands apartment complex on Hargrove Road in Tuscaloosa on March 20, 2013. He was a graduate of Vestavia Hills High School.
If convicted for selling heroin that resulted in a death, Foster could face a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.
"The U.S. Attorney's Office is fighting the growing availability of heroin and alerting the community that the problem is here and growing ever more deadly," Vance said. "The rising use of heroin is a public health crisis. It ruins lives and is killing our children. My office prosecutes heroin dealers. Those who sell heroin that causes a death are looking at a mandatory 20-year sentence in federal prison," she said.
A 28-year-old man also died of a heroin overdose at the same apartment complex where Mims overdosed and died. The accused dealer in that case, Harold Donnell Mims, pleaded guilty in February and will be sentenced on May 27. The overdose deaths happened within a one-month span in 2013.
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