• Monessen man sentenced in federal court for drug trafficking, distribution

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    PITTSBURGH - A Monessen heroin dealer with more than a dozen prior convictions was sentenced Wednesday to 27 years behind bars for drug trafficking.

    Maurice Frezzell, 34, has a long history of dealing heroin in the Mon Valley with 15 prior convictions.

    Frezzell was convicted by a federal jury in December 2017 of drug trafficking and distribution. 

    In the courtroom was the father of a man who bought heroin from Frezzell and died.


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    "The thing about Brooks was we considered him to be the most honest young man in the world," John Watkins told WPXI news reporter Cara Sapida. His son, Brooks, was a star baseball player at Charleroi High School before fatally overdosing on heroin in 2015 when he was 21 years old.

    "Brooks had dreams; he was going to enlist in the Navy," Watkins said.

    Watkins told Channel 11 he blames Frezell, but also blames his son, though the family never knew he was doing drugs.

    Investigators believe the first time Brooks shot up heroin with a needle, it instantly killed him.

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    But Watkins had been doing heroin before that, possibly smoking or snorting it.

    Watkins and his wife are talking to students across Washington County, sharing their son's story.

    While they want to see the dealers in jail, they also want teens to know it can happen to them and parents to stop thinking it can't.

    "It covers all social and economic strata," Watkins said.

    After Frezzell's sentencing, he faced another in federal court: 18 additional months for violating his probation.


     

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