Fugitive charged in heroin overdose death

The final defendant to be arrested among 49 people in a 2013 drug sweep was arraigned Wednesday in a U.S. District Court in Birmingham. {}The announcement was made by{}U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Clay A. Morris. {}Fugitive,{}Patropius Foster, 34, of Birmingham was charged in connection with a 2013 heroin overdose death in Tuscaloosa.Foster is charged with distributing heroin on March 19, 2013, that resulted in the death of a 20-year-old University of Alabama student the following day. This charge carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 20 years in prison.{}So far 39 of the 49 people indicted in the September 2013 drug roundup have pleaded guilty and 36 have been sentenced. {}The U.S. Attorney's office says this effort is a part of an ongoing initiative to attack the supply side of the spiraling heroin problem.{}"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.Another Birmingham man arrested in the September roundup also was charged with selling heroin that resulted in a death. Harold Donnell Mims, 31, pleaded guilty in February to selling heroin that caused the death of a 28-year-old Tuscaloosa resident.{}{}The two overdose deaths Foster and Mims are charged with causing occurred at the same Tuscaloosa apartment complex within a one month time span.{}Mims is scheduled for sentencing May 27. {}Foster has been ordered to remain in custody pending trial.{} {} {}{} {} {} {} {}{} {} {} {}{}