A 22-year-old Dunwoody man died from an opioid overdose and his suspected drug dealer has been charged with murder

DUNWOODY — The Dunwoody Police Department has arrested 28-year-old Antoin Thornton for Felony-Murder in connection with the overdose death of a 22-year-old man on March 18, 2019.

Dunwoody Police Investigators, working with agents from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force, identified Antoin Thornton as the person who sold the overdose victim the drugs that resulted in his death.

On May 9, Dunwoody Police investigators, with the assistance of the North Metro and DeKalb County Police SWAT teams, simultaneously executed search warrants at two locations within DeKalb County in connection with the overdose death investigation.

During the execution of those search warrants, Thornton was taken into custody for felony-murder and trafficking heroin. A second person, Daja Monee Shaw, was taken into custody and charged with drug trafficking, tampering with evidence, and possession of marijuana.

This case marks the first time an alleged drug dealer has been charged with felony-murder in connection with an overdose death by the Dunwoody Police Department.

Nearly 200 people die each day from a drug overdose in the United States, and a large percentage of those deaths involve opioids.

In the last six years, Dunwoody Police officers have responded to over 50 overdose incidents and 16 of those resulted in death.

The life-saving drug Naloxone has been administered by Dunwoody Police officers more than 20 times since the department first acquired the drug in 2015. The vast majority of these incidents involved opioids, such as heroin, fentanyl, and many prescription pills.

“We hope this arrest sends a clear message to drug dealers that if you sell drugs in our community, and those drugs lead to someone’s death, you will be held accountable” said Police Chief Billy Grogan.

“The opioid crisis is devastating families throughout our country and even here in our own community. We recognize the grip of these drugs is powerful and, more often than not, debilitating. Our goal is not to penalize users who are struggling with addiction, but those who aim to capitalize off of their pain. We believe in a multi-pronged approach to prosecution and law enforcement that balances offender accountability with restorative and rehabilitative justice, as appropriate. We are grateful for law enforcement partnerships that assist with accomplishing this goal.” said DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston.

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