A Tunkhannock man was indicted Friday in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Scranton on distribution of a controlled substance causing “serious bodily injury and death” to one person and serious bodily injury to another.
James Eugene Rought, 30, appeared before Judge Malachy Mannion.
Rought is charged in the death of an individual only identified in the indictment as ‘D.C.’
Wyoming County District Attorney Jeff Mitchell said in a Facebook post the charges were a result of an investigation by his office, and that Rought “is being charged in federal court due to the longer sentence he can face as compared to state court.”
The charges originate with the Aug. 17 overdose death of Dana Carichner, and also an unidentified individual who actually survived an overdose.
Mitchell said the drug involved was fentanyl, “which is 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin.”
The DA acknowledged he had a witness who received fentanyl from Rought, and was also present when Carichner received the drug.
That person, however, overdosed at a different location and was revived by emergency personnel.
Mitchell said, “I hope this case sends a message to all drug dealers that they will face the consequences for their actions. When we have the evidence, we will file charges.”
He said he was grateful to Wyoming County Chief Detective David Ide, County Coroner Tom Kukuchka, the U.S. Attorney’s office, and the FBI for their work and assistance on this case.
Detective Ide said members of Carichner’s family told him they didn’t want Dana Carichner to have died in vain, and supported the federal prosecution.