New Orleans man gets 15 years for dealing deadly dose of heroin
A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a 21-year-old New Orleans man to 15 years in prison for selling a deadly dose of heroin to a 19-year-old college student in 2008.
Bradford Wade admitted playing a part in the death of Pierce Sharai, a Ben Franklin High School graduate who was majoring in biochemistry at Louisiana State University.
Sharai was staying at a downtown hotel with a group of friends the night of the Krewe du Vieux parade, Jan. 19, 2008, when the group scored $100 worth of heroin, federal agents said.
Sharai later passed out on a hotel bed and later that night his friends called for help after noticing his lips had turned purple.
"The primary cause of Pierce's death was the ingestion of heroin, aided by alcohol," the coroner's office ruled.
On June 18, Wade admitted that he had a role in dealing the $100 bag of heroin that Sharai and a friend shared.
Wade's co-defendant, Shannon Frank, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his role in the fatal heroin deal.
The FBI arrested Wade and Frank on charges of possession of heroin just four days after Sharai's death, outside the Fun Arcade in Metairie.
Within two months, Frank agreed to make buys from Wade as federal agents recorded every moment.
Frank cooperated with the U.S. attorney's office and helped set up Wade. He told agents that he received "break offs," small amounts of heroin, from Wade in exchange for setting up deals such as the one with Sharai's friends.
Wade had a $12.50-an-hour job at a Lowe's Home Improvement store and no car when arrested in 2008 in connection with Sharai's overdose death, according to his court record.
By Gwen Filosa, The Times-Picayune
October 15, 2009, 5:40PM