Barrow County Murders Tied to Opioid Investigation

Sep 23, 2020

In Barrow County, a double homicide from last year has recently been connected to an international opioid investigation.



In the days following the May 2019 killing of Ron and Dorothy Hess, the elderly couple’s identities were stolen and posted online. This is according to Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith.

The couple’s identities are suspected to have been purchased by Durrell Tyler, who is connected to a number of similar identity theft schemes, and a larger international investigation into illicit opioid distribution in the United States. 

This connection has been made by “Operation DisrupTor,” a coordinated investigation by the US Government into online sales of opioids on the Darknet. DisrupTor has been credited for 120 arrests and the seizure of over 270 kilograms of drugs.

According to Sheriff Smith, there’s no evidence linking Tyler to the homicide from last year, instead of purchasing the identities online after the fact.