Teens Charged After Heroin Drug Ring Busted

Thursday, Nov 20, 2008  |  Updated 8:19 AM EDT
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Teens Charged in High School Heroin Bust

Ten teens and young adults are charged in a Virginia heroin bust.

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Teens Charged in High School Heroin Bust

A group of teens and young adults are charged in a Virginia heroin bust.
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Federal agents announced charges against 10 teenagers and young adults in a heroin ring bust Wednesday.

Court documents say the group created a drug ring linked to three deaths and several overdoses.

Federal agents arrested the group in what was called "Operation Smackdown."  Most of those arrested graduated or used to attend Westfield High School in Chantilly.

According to court documents, some in the group began selling heroin as early as 2005.  The heroin was bought from dealers in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.

Those documents also say members of the drug ring distributed heroin to students at Westfield High School and Virginia Commonwealth University.

One of the deaths linked to the drug ring is that of 19-year-old Alicia Lannes.  She died of a heroin overdose in March.  Her father on Wednesday said that her death jumpstarted the federal investigation.

Among those named in court documents is Lannes' boyfriend, 19-year-old Skylar Schnippel, who could receive life in prison for allegedly supplying the heroin that caused her death.

Court documents say hundreds of deals were made and thousands of dollars exchanged hands.

After months of surveillance, federal agents say the drug ring began to crumble after members turned on one another.

At least three suspects could face life in prison.

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