CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- The grandmother of a Virginia man who died after using heroin said she forgave the dealer who sold her grandson the drug that caused him -- and others -- to fatally overdose.
"He knew that Ryan had died, he knew how deadly it was, and he continued to sell it to people that could possibly die also, that's what I find so distressing," Ruth Swindell, of Chesapeake, said. "[But} I forgive him, I'm a Christian."
Ryan Wilson, 27, died in 2015 after using heroin he bought from Carlos Brown.
Brown, 46, had previously described the potency of his heroin as a "missile," according to the Department of Justice. Prosecutors said he was aware several customers had overdosed when he tried to get more of the same batch of heroin.
Brown was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday.
Ruth Swindell said she did not know when her grandson Ryan started down his descriptive path of drug abuse, but she suspected it might have been triggered by his mother's death when he was just 14 years old.
"It hit all of us very hard, but I just don't seem to think that he got beyond it," she said.
She learned about Ryan's addiction only two months before his death.
"Nothing hurts you worse than having a child that you love saying I have a big problem, I need your help, and you know you cannot help him," she said. "I think it's our civic duty to talk about it. We can't bring Ryan back, but we can get these people off the streets if we all work together.
"I love Ryan, he was a good kid, and I miss him."