Brevard, N.C. Woman Is Sentenced To 15 Years On Drug Charges

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn sentenced today Victoria Kerrigan Irby, 26, of Brevard, North Carolina, to 15 years in federal prison for trafficking narcotics, including fentanyl that resulted in an overdose death, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Asheville Post of Duty, and Chief David Zack of the Asheville Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, between January 2018 and June 2019, Irby was involved in the distribution of narcotics in and around Buncombe County. Court records show that Irby was trafficking various types of narcotics but primarily engaged in the distribution of fentanyl. According to court documents, Irby distributed pure or uncut fentanyl knowing that it was causing her customers to overdose. As discussed in court today, Irby had to revive multiple customers that had overdosed on fentanyl she was distributing. On May 23, 2019, Irby sold fentanyl to a victim identifed in court documents as D.F., which resulted in the victim’s overdose death. Irby continued to sell fentanyl even after the victim’s overdose death.

On April 4, 2022, Irby pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin, a quantity of marijuana, a quantity of fentanyl, a quantity of methamphetamine, and a quantity of buprenorphine, and distribution of a quantity of heroin, a quantity of marijuana, a quantity of fentanyl, a quantity of methamphetamine, and a quantity of buprenorphine. As part of her plea, Irby also admitted to knowingly and intentionally distributing a mixture or substance that contained fentanyl to D.F. on May 23, 2019, and that D.F.’s death resulted from his use of the fentanyl supplied by Irby.

In imposing Irby’s 15-year prison sentence, Judge Cogburn stated that Irby’s conduct of continuing to sell fentanyl she knew was causing her customers to overdose and her continuing to sell fentanyl even after the fentanyl death occurred was particularly troubling.

Irby is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. 

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The DEA in Asheville and the Asheville Police Department handled the investigation. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Kent, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville, prosecuted the case.