ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In August 2011, anti-heroin activist Jennifer Weiss found her 18-year-old son unconscious in his bedroom. Attempts to revive him failed, and the former LaCueva athlete died of a heroin overdose.
Federal prosecutors have now charged a man with providing the heroin that killed Cameron Weiss.
Joseph Dyson was charged this month in federal court with “distribution of heroin with death resulting,” and distribution to a person under 21.
The criminal complaint filed against Dyson, 23, by the Drug Enforcement Administration was unsealed Dec. 26.
Dyson appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Scott on Friday, waived a detention hearing and was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Jennifer Weiss became an outspoken advocate for raising awareness about a spike in heroin use among Albuquerque school students after Cameron revealed his addiction in 2010.
The investigation into Cameron Weiss’ death found that he had acquired heroin from a man known as “Joe.” Weiss injected three times in the presence of a person identified only as a confidential source on the evening of his death, the complaint says, and Dyson was identified through a photo lineup of six individuals.
The DEA source also said the only heroin Weiss had received was from Dyson.
Online records from the Department of Corrections show that Joseph Sewell Dyson was on probation/parole at a men’s recovery unit in Los Lunas after his release on four prior convictions for possession of a controlled substance.
The number of heroin overdose deaths among teens in the state has increased over the past few years, according to the New Mexico Department of Health. Federal and state law enforcement officials responded with a concerted effort to crack down on dealers and last year rounded up more than a dozen suspected dealers in one high-profile investigation.
Jennifer Weiss founded the Heroin Awareness Committee in 2010 and, along with other parents, has pushed for more drug addiction programs.
She said after Cameron’s death that he had remained clean for about six months while enrolled in drug treatment programs in New Mexico and Arizona but fell into old, bad habits after returning to Albuquerque.
For Cameron, prescription opiates served as a gateway to addiction. After the La Cueva High athlete received painful injuries in wrestling and football practices in 2009, doctors prescribed narcotic painkillers that gave him a taste for opiates, his mother said.
In February 2010, Cameron confessed to family members that he was addicted and needed help.
— This article appeared on page A1 of the Albuquerque Journal