Supplier of Fairfax Heroin Ring Gets 26-Year Sentence

Friday, July 17, 2009; 3:54 PM

One of the main suppliers of a western Fairfax County heroin ring was sentenced Friday to more than 26 years in prison, after admitting that he dealt between 10 and 30 kilograms of heroin -- or up to 300,000 individual doses -- during a two-year period ending last year.

Antonio L. Harper, 33, of Waldorf was one of the original sources for a group of teenage heroin addicts from the Centreville area, who took turns driving into the District or Maryland to buy heroin from Harper, multiple members said. Four of the young people involved in the ring died of heroin overdoses, and another 15 were arrested on various federal drug charges beginning in November.

Harper was the fourth person to receive a sentence of 19 years or more. The other three defendants to receive long sentences pleaded guilty to distributing heroin that resulted in the death of one of their friends. The only defendant to not plead guilty, Skylar M. Schnippel, 20, was convicted at trial in May on the charge of distribution resulting in death, involving the fatal overdose of his girlfriend, 19-year-old Alicia Lannes. He faces a minimum 20-year term at his sentencing next Friday.

-- Tom Jackman

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