DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced that Alicia Morelli, age 35, of Denver, pleaded guilty yesterday afternoon to distribution of heroin resulting in death. Morelli appeared at the change of plea hearing in person and in custody. She was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal at the conclusion of the hearing. The Denver Division of the DEA joins in this announcement.
According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, on June 19, 2019, Denver Police officers responded to a Denver apartment on the report of an unresponsive female. Upon arrival, first responders located a deceased female lying on the bedroom floor. A syringe, a spoon with liquid, and an amount of suspected heroin were located on the table next to where the woman was lying. The Office of the Medical Examiner for the City and County of Denver later determined the woman died as a result of the “toxic effects of heroin.”
Shortly after learning of the woman’s death, Denver Police Detectives assigned to the DEA’s Front Range Task Force used information from the victim’s phone to contact the defendant, who had sold the victim the fatal dose of heroin on June 18. Between June 25, 2019, and October 30, 2019, an undercover Denver Police Detective made five separate purchases of heroin from the defendant. At the conclusion of the controlled purchase on October 30, 2019, federal task force officers and uniformed officers arrested the defendant.
Morelli is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter McNeilly. The guilty plea was tendered before U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martinez. Sentencing is scheduled for April 14, 2021. The case is being investigated by the Denver Division of the DEA and the Denver Police Department.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado. Related court documents can be found on PACER. The defendant’s case number is 20-cr-50.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.