Woman sentenced to seven years for heroin deal that led to death

Derek Dunsmore

A Thurmont woman was sentenced to seven years in prison Wednesday for conspiracy to distribute heroin, which led to the death of an Emmitsburg man.

Kathleen Elizabeth Myers, 21, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to possession with the intent to distribute heroin and conspiracy to distribute heroin.

According to her plea agreement, between July 2012 and June 2014, Myers conspired with Jacob Alexander Powell and others to distribute heroin in northern Frederick County.

Myers and Powell bought heroin from sources in Baltimore and resold that heroin in and around Thurmont and Emmitsburg, according to court documents.

On June 11, 2013, Myers and Powell sold heroin to Derek Dunsmore in Emmitsburg, which ultimately caused his death. Dunsmore had stopped using the drug but was experiencing painful symptoms of withdrawal on that day, his mother told The Frederick News-Post after his death.

The number of heroin-related overdose deaths in the county reached an all-time high in 2013 at 21 deaths, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

And heroin-related deaths continue to climb. So far this year, 22 people died from heroin-related overdoses in Frederick County, according to data compiled by the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.

Powell, 21, of Thurmont, previously pleaded guilty and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

As part of her sentence, U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. ordered Myers to pay more than $7,000 in restitution to cover medical costs and funeral expenses for Dunsmore's family.

More than 100 people attended a memorial service after Dunsmore's death, during which the mayor of Emmitsburg spoke about drug abuse prevention. After his funeral, the Emmitsburg Council of Churches hosted a "Get Clean" community car wash to raise awareness and money for a local drug rehab fund.

Dunsmore was pronounced dead at Gettysburg Hospital. He was 18.

Staff writer Paige Jones contributed to this report.

Follow Danielle E. Gaines on Twitter: @danielleegaines.

Danielle E. Gaines covers politics and government in Frederick County, splitting her time between Winchester Hall and The State House. Having grown up in Illinois, she lived in New York and California before settling in Maryland.

(2) comments


7 years are you kidding me? She should have been charged with manslaughter.


18 years old. They say now that your brain hasn't even fully matured yet but they live in a world where they risk making fatal mistakes. I agree, what message does 7 years send to other dealers?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!