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Milwaukie heroin death leads to record prison term

After being found guilty of distributing heroin, Jacob Tolman, 34, of Portland, was sentenced Wednesday by United States District Judge Ancer Haggerty to 175 months in prison, to be followed by a four-year term of supervised release.

The more than 14-year sentencing came after an investigation led by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Interagency Task Force, which committed experienced narcotics investigators and significant agency resources immediately upon discovery of a heroin overdose victim, 23-year-old Zachary Holland. Holland, a resident of Milwaukie, was found dead on Nov. 5, 2011. Investigators found drug paraphernalia and residue quantities of black tar heroin.

Holland was among the record number of individuals—143—who died from heroin overdoses in Oregon in 2011. According to family members, Holland began using heroin after he became dependent on prescription painkillers. Prior to his death, Holland made several attempts to fight his heroin addiction, including attending drug treatment therapy.

According to prosecutors, Tolman is a career offender based on his prior felony convictions. At the time of this offense, Tolman had just been granted pretrial release in Clackamas County where he was pending charges for unlawful distribution of oxycontin.

“Heroin continues to wreak havoc on this community, and I applaud the effort of our partners in the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force for their great work in this case and many other investigations that target those who distribute this poison,” said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. “Today’s 175-month sentence for this defendant is the highest sentence obtained to date in Len Bias cases brought in the District of Oregon. It is our hope that these stiff penalties will dissuade drug dealers who prey on desperate and vulnerable addicts.”

The United States Attorney’s Office and the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office have made the investigation and prosecution of drug overdose cases a high priority due to the devastating impact drug distribution has in Oregon. Several significant drug dealers who would have otherwise gone undetected, have been arrested, successfully prosecuted, and sentenced to prison in both state and federal court as a result of this combined state and local effort to investigate and prosecute drug overdose deaths.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah K. Bolstad and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Mygrant of the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office.



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