A Leesburg man who allegedly dealt oxycodone pills to Loudoun County teenagers for years has been charged with conspiracy in the death of a reputed customer who overdosed from an injection of the addictive painkiller.
George Washington Crane V, 47, was arrested Friday in Leesburg. Federal prosecutors allege that he dealt oxycodone in Loudoun from 2006 to 2012 and that he engaged in a conspiracy that resulted in the death of William A. Huff, 20, who was found dead in his bedroom in his parents’ Leesburg home on Aug. 8, 2010.
Huff had returned from a drug rehabilitation facility the previous day, according to an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Gregg S. Horner. A syringe and a burnt spoon were found under the bed next to Huff’s body, Horner wrote. The Virginia medical examiner ruled that Huff died from “adverse effects of oxycodone.”
Crane had an initial court appearance Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ivan D. Davis and remained in custody. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life without parole.
Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman, a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent, said he could not quantify how widespread oxycodone abuse was in Loudoun, but “if it’s getting to our schools, and getting to our children, then that’s a problem.”
Horner’s affidavit said he has been investigating oxycodone dealing in Northern Virginia since 2011 and that eight other people have been convicted. Two of those people became informers in the Crane case, and six other oxycodone users and dealers also cooperated.
Crane, identified as the owner of a limousine business, allegedly bought oxycodone pills from someone in the District and then “distributed the pills primarily to high school students and recent high school graduates” in Northern Virginia, Horner wrote.
Numerous witnesses told investigators that they bought oxycodone from Crane dating back to 2006. One witness reported that Crane would sometimes drive a limousine or a Cadillac to meet with his alleged drug clients and “would sometimes have four customers lined up in the parking lot to which he was selling oxycodone pills,” Horner wrote.
Some witnesses bought in bulk to take pills with them to college, authorities allege, while others bought a few, used some and sold some to friends. Some of the witnesses said they accompanied Crane to the District to buy the pills, and some met Crane at his residence, at various times in Ashburn, Winchester and Leesburg.
On Aug. 7, 2010, within hours of returning home with his parents after spending 30 days at a drug rehabilitation center, Huff had obtained five oxycodone tablets, two witnesses told investigators. One witness admitted buying the pills from Crane in Winchester and then leaving the drugs for Huff in his mailbox. That witness has since pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, admitting that he directly provided the fatal dose, the affidavit states.
Another witness said he picked up half a tablet from Huff about midnight and gave Huff a used syringe. Four hours later, Huff was dead.