Ocean City, MD – On February 16, 2023, Leigh Ann Williams, age 35, of Willards, Maryland, became the last of two co-defendants to be sentenced for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl by the Honorable Beau H. Oglesby of the Worcester County Circuit Court.
Williams was sentenced to 10 years in the Division of Correction with all but five years suspended and placed on three years of supervised probation upon release for her role in the distribution of fentanyl in September 2021, which resulted in the death of 37-year-old Christopher Price of Berlin, Maryland.
Previously, in May of 2022, her co-defendant, Bryan Zimmerman, age 35, of Ocean City, Maryland, was convicted of distribution of fentanyl for the same incident and in July 2022, was sentenced to serve 20 years in the Division of Correction, with all but 10 years suspended and placed on 5 years of supervised probation upon his release.
The charges resulted from an investigation, which began on September 25, 2021, after Mr. Price, an employee of an Ocean City hotel, failed to show up for work. Hotel employees made entry into Price’s apartment, discovered him deceased, and immediately contacted Ocean City Police.
Ocean City Police Department detectives assigned to the case obtained cell phone records which revealed that Price had been in recent contact with Bryan Zimmerman.
After extensive analysis of digital evidence, detectives were able to establish that Zimmerman and Leigh Ann Williams traveled in a vehicle together to sell Price, what Price believed to be Xanax.
Detectives also learned that Zimmerman had been arrested 2 days prior for possession of fentanyl.
Autopsy results of Price indicated his cause of death was fentanyl and ethanol intoxication, and as a result, Zimmerman was indicted by the Worcester County Grand Jury in November 2021.
Williams was charged for her role in the incident on April 5, 2022, and she later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute fentanyl.
Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser thanked OCPD’s Criminal Investigation Division for their detailed and thorough investigation in this case, and commended Assistant State’s Attorney Joaquin Cabrera, who prosecuted both matters.
Heiser stated, “This case highlights the continued need for education and prevention efforts in the war against drugs, especially now that the fentanyl crisis has exploded in our country. Those in our community need to understand that fentanyl is being found in every other type of drug, even those that appear to be prescriptions, and that one pill can kill. My office will continue to hold drug dealers accountable while encouraging all those suffering from substance abuse to seek treatment to avoid any further loss of life.”
For more information on substance abuse and treatment resources, please visit https://www.worcesterhealth.org/get-help-menu/116-substance-abuse-article or dial 211.