LA County Man to Plead Guilty in Heroin Overdose Case

Criminal man with handcuffs in interrogation room

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Westlake Village man is expected to plead guilty today to his role in a drug ring that distributed heroin to a 23-year-old man who died of an overdose.

Bradford Shepley, 37, has agreed to enter his plea to a federal charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, a felony carrying a possible maximum penalty of 20 years behind bars. However, prosecutors have agreed to recommend no more than 15 1/2 years in federal prison, a sentence which takes into consideration the defendant's prior conviction for a felony drug offense, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Federal prosecutors allege that Shepley's role involved obtaining the heroin that was distributed to customers by two others. On or about Nov. 4, 2017, a co-conspirator and a customer identified in court papers as K.S. exchanged text messages in which they used coded language to arrange for a pickup. The next day, Shepley provided heroin to the co-conspirator to sell to K.S., prosecutors allege.  A third member of the ring drove Shepley and the second conspirator to the parking lot of a Target store in Westlake Village to meet K.S. for the transaction. The buy was captured by the store's security cameras, court papers show.

After the heroin was sold to K.S., the money was handed over to Shepley, prosecutors say. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, K.S. used the heroin that Shepley provided, and overdosed in his bedroom at his parent's house. The medical examiner concluded that he died as a result of heroin intoxication. Court records involving the co-conspirators were sealed and unavailable to the public.

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