ATLANTA – Hubert Nathans has been sentenced to federal prison for selling fake Roxicodone pills containing fentanyl to multiple people in Roswell, Georgia, in 2017 and 2018, including pills that resulted in the death of one buyer and serious bodily injury to another. Nathans’ drug supplier, Edward Culton, was sentenced to federal prison earlier this year.
“Nathans and Culton remorselessly sought to profit from drug addiction at any cost,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Their greed resulted in the tragic death of one person and the near-death of another. As the opioid epidemic continues to rage nationwide, these significant sentences should make clear that opioid suppliers and dealers will be held accountable for the devastation they wreak in our communities.”
“Last year, more than 100,000 people died of drug poisoning, many of which were caused by fentanyl – that’s more than double the occupancy of Truist Park” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “These two defendants contributed to this staggering statistic and will therefore spend a lengthy time behind bars.”
“The success of this investigation is a result of the collaborative efforts of ATF and our local partners,” said ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Beau Kolodka “ATF will continue to dedicate federal resources in conjunction with the crucial contributions of local agencies towards the eradication illegal drug and firearm activity.
“Each and every pill distributed by Nathans and Culton in our community represented the potential for another life lost. We remain committed to working hand-in-hand with our law enforcement partners to stem the tide of overdose deaths, and to aggressively pursuing the entire criminal ecosystem that contributes to them,” said Roswell Police Chief James Conroy.
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges, and other information presented in court: In the fall of 2017, the Roswell Police Department began an investigation after reports that Nathans was distributing opioids that had led to overdoses. Law enforcement eventually confirmed that Nathans was distributing fake Roxicodone pills containing fentanyl and that Edward Culton, who was living in a high-rise apartment in the Buckhead section of Atlanta, was his supplier.
On February 15, 2018, agents arrested Culton and Nathans. Agents seized almost 1000 pills containing fentanyl during a search of Culton’s apartment. The investigation further revealed that Nathans sold fentanyl pills supplied by Culton to 24-year-old T.C. on October 2, 2017, and that those pills caused T.C.’s overdose death.
After learning of T.C.’s death, Nathans egregiously returned to dealing fentanyl and, three months later, sold pills to 30-year-old E.M., who also would have died had she not received emergency treatment at a local hospital.
Hubert Nathans, 33, of Roswell, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr., to 12 years in prison followed by 15 years of supervised release. He was convicted of these charges on August 13, 2018, after he pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute and possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl that caused overdoses resulting in death and serious bodily injury.
Edward Culton, 29, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to 18 years, three months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. He was convicted of these charges on September 8, 2022, after he pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess fentanyl with intent to distribute and aiding and abetting the distribution of fentanyl.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Roswell Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tyler Mann and Nicholas Hartigan prosecuted the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site: www.justthinktwice.gov.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.