WILMINGTON, Del. – United States Attorney David C. Weiss announced that Canda Quach, 28, of Philadelphia, was sentenced today to 10 years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews. Quach previously pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute over 3000 grams of heroin in capsule form.
According to court documents, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Castle County Police Department investigated an overdose death involving suspected heroin capsules in August, 2017. Heroin sold in Delaware is typically packaged in clear plastic baggies containing a blue wax paper sheet, which is usually “stamped” or otherwise branded to differentiate it from other types of heroin. The emergence of heroin capsule sales in the greater Newark area was novel and unique to Delaware.
Following an investigation into the death of the victim, officers arrested co-defendant Rodney Cox for delivering the fatal dose of heroin capsules. Judge Andrews sentenced Cox to 51 months in federal prison on August 20, 2017. Cox received the heroin capsules from co-defendant Jawaan Wallace, who was sentenced by Judge Andrews on August 20, 2019 to 10 years in federal prison. As the heroin supplier for Wallace, Quach was the source of the heroin capsules in Delaware. Since Quach’s arrest on February 1, 2018, officers have no reported cases of heroin capsules distributed in Delaware.
Commenting on the sentence, U.S. Attorney Weiss noted: “This case highlights both the tragedy of heroin overdoses and the collective response needed to combat it. The collaborative efforts of federal and local law enforcement resulted in Mr. Quach’s arrest and conviction. The deadly heroin capsules the defendant distributed took a human life. Today’s sentence appropriately reflects the seriousness of the defendant’s crime.”
“Quach was responsible for distributing over 3,000 grams of heroin in capsule form, which represented a distribution method that was different from what is normally seen in this region. As such, Quach’s unusual method of packaging heroin was likely tied to the significant amount of heroin that he was responsible for distributing,” said Jonathan A. Wilson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division. “This case is a reminder that illegal street drugs, especially when packaged in an innocuous from like a capsule, pose a deadly threat to the people that use them.”
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the First State Overdose Taskforce with assistance from the New Castle County Police Department and Delaware State Police. The Task Force consists of state and federal law enforcement partners who work to investigate overdose deaths soon after they occur. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Logan prosecuted the case.