Winston B. Prude, a former Justice Department lawyer arrested for possession of heroin in 1983, died of a narcotics overdose in his apartment here and, after an investigation of his April death, the FBI has charged a man in New Mexico with distributing heroin, law enforcement officials said.
As a result of their investigation into Prude's death, D.C. police filed a criminal complaint May 10 against Lee R. Heinsch of Albuquerque, according to papers filed in U.S. District Court here.
Prude and Eric M. Breindel, then a Senate Intelligence committee staff member, were arrested in May 1983 when they attempted to buy heroin from an undercover police officer. Both men pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of drug possession and they were each sentenced to one year's probation.
Heinsch, a former classmate of Prude's at the University of New Mexico, was arrested by the FBI in Albuquerque on May 14 and charged with distribution of heroin and interstate transportation in support of racketeering.
He was arraigned before a U.S. magistrate in Albuquerque on May 16 and released on $50,000 bond.
Prude, 34, graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1974 and received a law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1978. He worked in the Justice Department until December 1982.
At the time of his death he had a private law practice in the District and was an attorney for the firm of Cramer, Haber and Lukis, 818 Connecticut Ave. NW.
His body was found April 22 on the kitchen floor of his home at 323-A Fifth Street SE, according to police.
According to a D.C. police affidavit filed in support of Heinsch's arrest, on April 17 Prude had his secretary send $500 via Purolator Courier to Heinsch at his work place in Albuquerque.
On April 19, the affidavit says, a package sent U.S. Express Mail arrived for Prude at the law firm, and later that day another secretary "was informed by Prude that he had received a package containing heroin and emphasized that he was going to have a 'very good' weekend."
When Prude's body was discovered April 22, police found in his apartment a small quantity of Mexican heroin and a letter signed by "Lee" that described "in great detail the contents of a package which the letter accompanied," according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, Donna Yesner, described as Prude's friend, was contacted by D.C. police and identifed "Lee" as "a former classmate of hers and Winston B. Prude."
On April 30, the affidavit says, Yesner made a taped telephone call to Heinsch, during which he "acknowledged that he had recently sent a package to 'Winston' and informed Yesner that he would be agreeable to sending a similar package to her so long as she conveyed a sum of cash in the fashion Prude had recently done."
U.S. Attorney Joseph E. diGenova said Heinsch's removal to the District is being sought.