Man sentenced to four years for anthrax tainted heroin

Darren Scott, a 24-year-old drug-dealer in Dumfries, Scotland, was sentenced to four years in prison this week for unknowingly selling heroin tainted with anthrax to a woman.

Local Sheriff Kenneth Ross believes that Scott had no knowledge that the heroin was infected with anthrax. The woman who purchased the heroin had to be taken to the hospital after using it, reports.

Scott told the court he had been dealing heroin to the Lincluden and Lochside housing estates in Dumfries starting in December 2009 and through March 2010.

Solicitor Liz Dougan, according to the BBC, said that Scott, who had been employed as a cockler, developed a cocaine habit and began dealing heroin to pay off a debt worth around $1,600.

Depute fiscal Pamela Rhodes said that the police became aware of Scott’s drug operations during a police operation investigating the string of anthrax infections breaking out among local heroin users, the BBC reports. The street value of the drugs Scott was allegedly dealing was close to $32,000.

In Scotland, there have been over 40 heroin users infected with anthrax since December 2009. It is unclear as to how the anthrax ended up in the drugs. Officials from the Health Protection Agency do not believe the wider population is at risk, according to the BBC.