Oregon Leads U.S. In “Len Bias” Drug-Overdose Prosecutions


Oregon leads the nation in using a “Len Bias” law as a weapon against major drug traffickers, The Oregonian reports. After someone dies of an overdose, investigators threaten all those in the supply chain with a 20-year sentence if they don’t lead to the next link. The tactic, pioneered by Oregon federal prosecutor Kathleen Bickers, could be seen in action this month in federal court in Portland. Oregon has had 40 Len Bias prosecutions. Bickers regularly trains state and federal prosecutors. The prosecutions, she said, reach past the first- and second-tier dealers to “those traffickers who believe they remain Teflon at the top of the organization.” Heroin traffickers in particular, she said, are suddenly finding “an alarming number of their own people” willing to talk. Bias was a University of Maryland basketball star who died in 1986 of a cocaine overdose.

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