A convicted Knoxville drug dealer faces a 20-year sentence for her role in the 2015 death of a 49-year-old drug user at a West Knoxville motel.
Dollie R. Cox, 33, pleaded guilty in Knox County Criminal Court to facilitation of second-degree murder. She also admitted to distributing heroin and methamphetamine.
The conviction comes amid efforts by police, prosecutors and health authorities to confront widespread abuse of opioids in Knox County, including heroin. In April, a 40-year-old Knoxville man got an eight-year sentence for his role in the death of a 20-year-old drug user.
More than 140 people have died this year in Knox County of suspected drug overdoses, according to the prosecutor's office.
The felony drug unit of the Knox County District Attorney General's Office handled Cox's case.
Cox got the 20-year sentence as part of a plea deal, accepted by Criminal Court Judge Bob McGee.
The woman died of an overdose May 4, 2015, after getting heroin at a Red Roof Inn at 209 Advantage Place near North Peters Road. The Knoxville Police Department investigated the death.
According to the DA's Office, police learned Cox, who has prior drug and DUI convictions, had given heroin to the victim and prepared a syringe with the drug for her.
The woman died of a heroin overdose, according to authorities.
An informant told police Cox continued to deal heroin, according to the prosecution. The source helped police make a $130 drug buy from Cox at an Extended Stay Motel near Bearden High School.
"Later, investigators obtained a search warrant for another hotel room used by Cox, and that search revealed another quantity of heroin, methamphetamine, pills, digital scales and syringes," a release by the DA's Office states.
In April, Scott E. Roberts pleaded guilty in connection with the fatal fentanyl overdose of a 20-year-old man found Oct. 4, 2014, in a vehicle parked at a South Knoxville business.
The night before his body was found, the man bought what he thought was heroin from Roberts, according to KPD. The drug actually was fentanyl.
In 2015, Michael D. Carter, 51, admitted to supplying the opiate pills that killed a 33-year-old Knoxville man in an overdose death. Carter was convicted of reckless homicide and sale of a schedule 2 drug in Knox County Criminal Court.