Dealer who sold heroin linked to teen death found guilty of conspiracy to distribute

A drug dealer who had been linked to the overdose death of a McLean High School junior was convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin on Monday but acquitted of responsibility for teenager’s death.

Prosecutors charged that Antowan Thorne, 37, sold heroin to 16-year-old Emylee Lonczak, 20-year-old Kyle Alifom and two others who all drove from Virginia to the District together to buy the drug on Aug. 21, 2013. The four then used the drug in their car. One of the unnamed occupants injected it into Lonczak.

Lonczak fell unconscious in the car. Alifom took her to his house and put her on a bed, where he found her dead the next morning. He then tried to hide her body under bushes and a window screen. He pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and was sentenced in May to six years and eight months in prison.

U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema ruled after a bench trial that the government had not sufficiently proven the charge that Thorne’s heroin distribution resulted in Lonczak’s death. Brinkema found Thorne guilty of the lesser charge of conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.

Thorne will be sentenced in November. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday afternoon.

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Julie Zauzmer is a local news reporter.
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