Drug dealer arrested for anthrax-tainted heroin

A  drug dealer in Dumfries, Scotland, was recently sentenced to prison for four years for unknowingly selling a woman heroin infected with anthrax.

Sheriff Kenneth Ross said he accepted Darren Scott’s story that he did not know that the drug was tainted. The woman ended up being hospitalized soon after taking the heroin, according to the BBC.

Scott admitted in court that he had been supplying heroin to the Lochside and Lincluden housing estates in Dumfries between September 2009 and the end of March 2010.

Depute fiscal Pamela Rhodes said that law enforcement became aware of Scott’s dealing operations during a police operation, the BBC reports. The operation had been following a string of anthrax infections that had broken out among users of heroin.

The court heard that the drugs passing through Scott’s hands had a value on the street of up to $32,000 dollars.

Solicitor Liz Dougan described for the court how Scott, who was described as a prisoner in Dumfries, had developed a cocaine habit and needed to deal the heroin to pay off a debt worth $1,600.

Over 40 heroin users in Scotland have been infected with anthrax since December 2010. It remains unclear as to how the disease made its way into the drug, but officials from the Health Protection Agency do not believe the wider population is at risk.