Woman faces charges in Oct. 26 fa­tal over­dose

Record Observer - - NEWS -

GRA­SONVILLE — A felony ar­rest was made by the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice fol­low­ing a fa­tal over­dose. The over­dose lead­ing to the fa­tal­ity oc­curred on Oct. 26 in the 600 block of Ch­ester River Beach Road in Gra­sonville. Upon ar­rival, per­son­nel from the sher­iff’s of­fice dis­cov­ered vic­tim, David Hoff­man Sr., de­ceased from a sus­pected drug over­dose. It was later de­ter­mined that Hoff­man had died from an opi­oid over­dose in­volv­ing fen­tanyl.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased by the sher­iff’s of­fice, mem­bers of the Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force re­sponded to the scene to as­sist the crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions unit.

The drug task force as­sumed the in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­cause the case was a sus­pected over­dose death. Based on ev­i­dence re­cov­ered at the scene, nu­mer­ous wit­ness and sus­pect in­ter­views, elec­tronic ev­i­dence and the re­sults of search war­rants and sub­poe­nas, mem­bers of the task force de­vel­oped Laura Fer­gu­son, a 36 year old from An­napo­lis, as the pri­mary sus­pect in de­liv­er­ing the il­le­gal drugs that ul­ti­mately caused Hoff­man’s over­dose death.

Work­ing closely with the Queen Anne’s County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice, task force in­ves­ti­ga­tors ap­plied for and re­ceived an ar­rest war­rant with 26 charges against Fer­gu­son in­clud­ing the pos­ses­sion of nar­cotics with the in­tent to dis­trib­ute and reck­less en­dan­ger­ment.

Fer­gu­son was ar­rested Nov. 20 and a sub­se­quent search of her ve­hi­cle re­vealed ad­di­tional con­trolled dan­ger­ous sub­stances and para­pher­na­lia. Based on the al­le­ga­tion that Fer­gu­son had used the ve­hi­cle to de­liver il­le­gal drugs to Hoff­man and the ad­di­tional drugs dis­cov­ered in her car, it was seized by the task force and po­lice say will be held pend­ing for­fei­ture pro­ceed­ings.

Fer­gu­son was seen by the Dis­trict Court Com­mis­sioner and charged with pos­ses­sion with in­tent to dis­trib­ute: nar­cotics, 7 counts; pos­ses­sion – not mar­i­juana, 8 counts; distri­bu­tion of nar­cotics, 7 counts; reck­less en­dan­ger­ment; and theft un­der $100.

Pos­ses­sion of nar­cotic with the in­tent to dis­trib­ute and distri­bu­tion of nar­cotics, each car­ries a max­i­mum sen­tence of 20 years in jail and/or a $15,000 fine — per count.

Fer­gu­son ini­tially waived her right to an at­tor­ney, but is now rep­re­sented by Michael Thomas Ott. The case for the state was en­tered by Chris­tine Dulla Rickard. Fer­gu­son is be­ing held with­out bond pend­ing a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing.

“If you have a sub­stance abuse ad­dic­tion, we en­cour­age you to come into our of­fice,” said Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann, “We have many re­sources avail­able to help you. How­ever, if you pro­vide il­le­gal drugs in our county, you will be ar­rested and pros­e­cuted to the fullest ex­tent of the law. We will not tol­er­ate drug deal­ers or il­le­gal drugs in our county.”

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