Maryland Prosecutors Pursue Drug Dealer With Manslaughter, Murder in Overdose Cases

The overdose looked like so many others in Maryland: A young man found unconscious on the bathroom floor, drug paraphernalia nearby.

But prosecutors would treat the death of 35-year-old Christopher Wade in Charles County in 2015 differently. They would charge his drug dealer with manslaughter in the first case of its kind there. What Wade thought was heroin, they said, was pure fentanyl — the much more potent synthetic opioid that’s driving the surge in drug deaths in Maryland and across the nation.