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Woman Sentenced for Dealing Heroin Resulting in Sailors' Overdoses

  The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush transits the Gulf of Aden on March 22, 2014. (U.S. Navy)

NORFOLK — A Virginia Beach drug dealer was sentenced Tuesday to 15 months in jail for dealing heroin that resulted in the overdose of two sailors on the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush.

Megan Garton pleaded guilty Dec. 1 in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin.

Federal guidelines recommended Garton receive a sentence of at least 24 months. Prosecutors asked for about 30 months, but Garton's defense attorney asked for less than 24.

According to court documents, Garton and her boyfriend sold heroin in February 2015 to Breanna McManus. In turn, the woman took the drugs to her husband, an active-duty sailor on the Bush who was already on restricted status with the Navy for prior drug use. McManus smuggled the drugs onto the carrier inside her bra.

On the ship, the couple sold some to another sailor. Documents indicate Donald McManus and the other sailor overdosed but survived. The other sailor had no detectable pulse for about 14 minutes before medics resuscitated her, documents said.

John Venner, Garton's attorney, asked U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar to show his client leniency. In court documents, he said Garton appeared to suffer from depression and argued she turned to heroin to "self medicate the effects of her depression and artificially enhance her low self-steam."

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Alyssa Nichol countered that Donald and Breanna McManus were sentenced to 18 and 15 months, respectively, for their role in the conspiracy. She argued Garton deserved a "far greater" sentence because the McManuses only sold heroin once and Garton dealt drugs on multiple occasions.

Garton's boyfriend, Gregory Hatt, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of distributing heroin resulting in death. The charge stemmed from the December 2014 overdose death of Monica Beaudry.

Hatt was sentenced last month to 35 years in prison.

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Navy Crime