Heroin hidden in 'Valentine-shaped' box leads to drug dealer's arrest in NC

Updated: Jan. 17, 2017 at 9:33 PM EST
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HENDERSON COUNTY, NC (WYFF) - A Michigan man will spend at least 2 1/2 years in prison for providing the heroin used by two men found dead in a Henderson County motel, the Henderson County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.

Randy Nead, 34, of Allegan, MI, pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the February deaths.

The bodies of John Matthew Tucker Jr. and Leonard Paul Lefford Jr. were found in a motel room on Feb. 12, investigators said. They had been dead for several hours, according to the autopsy results, which also stated the cause of death was "heroin toxicity."

Investigators discovered the heroin that killed Tucker and Lefford was sent overnight through FedEx by Nead in Allegan.

Investigators said they found text messages from Tucker instructing Nead to hide the heroin inside a "Valentine-shaped candy box."

A box matching that description was found in the motel room with the bodies of Tucker and Lefford, investigators said.

Detectives arrested Nead in Indiana on June 1, investigators said. He remained at the Henderson County jail, but will be transferred to the North Carolina prison system, according to Greg Newman, who is district attorney for Henderson, Transylvania and Polk counties.

"My position is that persons who distribute illegal drugs must own the consequences of their actions," Newman said. "We are witnessing more opiate-and-heroin-related deaths in our area and I intend to prosecute the individuals who make these inherently dangerous drugs available to anyone. Illegal narcotics destroy families and damage communities. These are not so-called 'victimless' crimes. Just ask any mother or father who has a daughter or son struggling with addictions and they will agree with me that there are many people adversely impacted by narcotic distribution and use."

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