Hagerstown man gets eight years in woman’s heroin death

BALTIMORE — A Hagerstown man charged in connection with the 2015 overdose death of 19-year-old Brooke Simmers of Clear Spring was sentenced Monday in federal court to eight years in prison, according to U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

Cory Allen Kline, 32, had pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to distribute heroin.

In addition to prison, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett ordered Kline to be on supervised probation for three years following his release.

“A successful prosecution in cases like this one, where the distribution of heroin is directly linked to a fatality, shows that DEA is not only committed to investigating large scale traffickers, but is also dedicated to working with our local counterparts to make sure that dealers in death are held accountable,” Don Hibbert, Drug Enforcement Agency special agent in charge, said in a news release from the prosecutor’s office.

Kline, co-defendant Erica Lee Buffolino and Simmers went to a Hagerstown residence early on April 13, 2015. While at the residence, Kline and Buffolino agreed to provide heroin to Simmers, who was a recovering heroin addict and had recently been released from jail, according to court documents.

Simmers became “very high” after injecting the heroin, the court documents said.

Kline left on April 13 at 6 a.m, while Simmers left the residence in her vehicle at 6:15 a.m. and made a telephone call to another person, the documents said.

Simmers told the person she was very high and did not feel right. She reported driving to a convenience store parking lot, and then to a nearby church, the documents said.

Toward the end of the call, Simmers began nodding off and stopped speaking. The telephone call lasted until 7:06 a.m. on April 13, the documents said.

Simmers’ body was discovered in her car in a Hagerstown church parking lot on April 14. The medical examiner reported that the cause of death was heroin intoxication.

There were no drugs or drug paraphernalia found inside the vehicle, and her cellphone did not show additional completed calls or outgoing messages after 7:06 a.m. on April 13.

Kline admitted in court in January that his distribution of heroin resulted in the victim’s death.

“We pray for him, and we hope he’s able to find sobriety while he’s incarcerated and lead a productive life” following his release, Kevin Simmers, Brooke Simmers’ father, said Monday evening.

“Cory was grateful for the opportunity to publicly express his remorse to Brooke Simmers’ parents,” Assistant Federal Public Defender Douglas R. Miller said later. “He would gladly trade places with their daughter if he could, and he told them so today. We were all moved by Mr. Simmers’ wish that Cory recover from his own addiction and go on to lead a productive life.”

Buffolino, 25, of Hagerstown pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to distribute heroin and distribution of heroin. She is awaiting sentencing, according to online federal court records.

A third person, Michael A. Romito, 39, also of Hagerstown, was indicted with Kline and Buffolino for supplying heroin to Simmers.

Romito pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and four counts of distribution of heroin in January. He is scheduled for sentencing today in federal court.