Heroin dealer gets 35 years in prison after three customers die

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WJLA) – A D.C. drug dealer was sentenced Friday to 35 years in prison after three of his heroin customers in Fairfax County died, including one active-duty soldier at Fort Belvoir.

Eugene Asomani Williams, 35, also known as “Shine,” was charged with conspiring to distribute heroin and possessing a firearm. Authorities concluded that at least three individuals in Fairfax County died as a result of heroin distributed by Williams.

“Williams peddled a dangerous drug and inflicted untold damage to the victims, their families, and our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Dana J.{ } Boente. “This case exemplifies the cooperative efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement to combat this pernicious crime.”

But his defense attorney argues that Williams was also a victim:

"He had a severe addiction himself...He sold drugs to use drugs," said Todd Baldwin.

Williams pleaded guilty on Jan. 22 to conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of cocaine and possession of a firearm during and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Williams admitted to distributing more than one kilogram of heroin in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia between 2004 and Sept. 26, 2013.

Williams also admitted that Joshua Pearson, 33, of Fairfax County; Timothy Huffman, 23, an active duty soldier at Fort Belvoir; and Kara Schachinger, 22, of Fairfax County all died as a result of their use of heroin distributed by the defendant.

“I have heard first-hand from families about the devastation brought by the loss of a loved one in this wave of heroin-related deaths, and about the strain placed on law enforcement and healthcare professionals as they work to respond to it,” said Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.

“Education, prevention and treatment will play a major part in dealing with this emerging threat, but I will also ensure that my office is doing all it can to keep these dangerous drugs, and those who distribute them, off the streets," Herring added.

In a video several minutes long, one family member after another paints a sympathetic picture of 35-year-old Gene Williams, who happens to be a father to seven children.

"His family was everything to him," said his wife, Renada Lake.

At sentencing on Friday, defense attorney Todd Baldwin said he did not know if the family’s pleas were considered – but Judge Brinkema ordered Williams to serve 35 years, more than double what Williams asked for.