Woman sentenced to decades in prison for role in overdose death

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JACKSON, Ky. (WYMT) - Prosecutors said it is the first federal sentencing of its kind in the eastern district of Kentucky.

A judge sentenced 48-year-old Judy McIntosh of Jackson to more than 27 years in prison.

In March, U.S. Attorney’s officials said she pleaded guilty to charges of distributing Oxycodone resulting in the 2010 death of a teen.

Court records indicate the 19-year-old woman received Oxycodone pills from McIntosh two years ago and later died at McIntosh's home.

The medical examiner's report listed the cause of death as an Oxycodone overdose.

Federal officials said they were able to make the case with the help of law enforcement in the overdose death.

“The circumstances of this case did make it easier to make this prosecution because of the very close link between Ms. McIntosh and the victim and the drugs that caused the death,” said Kerry B. Harvey of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Harvey said he and others will continue to fight the drug epidemic and hopefully save lives.

“We certainly hope that this will serve as a deterrent that the people out there who are engaged in the trafficking of these very dangerous drugs would take note at the fate that could await them should death result from their illegal activities,” said Harvey.

Law enforcement officials within the region said they think it is a step in the right direction.

“If we can link the two together than definitely I think this has set a precedent that really sends a message that if you are selling drugs and you kill somebody, than you are going to have to pay for it,” said Chief Minor Allen of the Hazard City Police Department.

Officials said McIntosh also admitted that between August of 2010 and June of 2011, she conspired with others to distribute Oxycodone in Lee and Breathitt counties.

Harvey said the punishment is very severe if one can be linked to providing drugs which caused a death overdose. He said if they are able to prove death by overdose and link a dealer to providing those drugs, under federal law, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Authority and Operation UNITE.