Board Member

 

While driving to work one morning Kristy Dyroff was struck by a drunk driver. After discovering how difficult the Court system was for victims to navigate, she recognized that the Judges’ lenient sentences were a major part of the problem. So she decided to change that. She was elected Magistrate Judge, where she served for nearly 12 years. She fought for the voices of the victims of all crime to be heard and respected them in her sentencing. She later applied that experience to advocating for victims of crime and crisis as the Director of Communications for the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA).

In 2015 she and her husband found their beloved son, Wesley Greer, dead in his home at the age of 29. She channeled her knowledge and persistence to get the man who sold her son, not the heroin he advertised he was selling online, but pure fentanyl. Overcome with grief and despite the deep gaps in the system, she knew how to get justice. Hugo Margenat-Castro had a steady business and was definitively linked to four fentanyl poisonings within less than six months time online. For the senseless murder of our beloved Wesley, Mr. Margenat-Castro pled guilty to Trafficking an Illicit Drug Resulting in Death and is currently serving a 20 year sentence in Federal Prison. His case was originally assigned to the responding local Detective, who simply lacked the experience and knowledge to investigate his case. After calling once a week after Wesley’s death for updates, and never getting any, I found a Drug Task Force including DEA Agents and took Wesley’s case to them. The dealer was arrested within a week of the Task Force receiving Wesley’s phone they used it to set up a controlled buy. This was in 2015 and the first Fentanyl Resulting in Death case the US Attorney’s office prosecuted.

Wesley was a smart, loving, loyal man. He became addicted to opioids when he was in college and injured his knee in a football game with friends. As any loving mother, I sent him to our family doctor. Due to HIPPA restrictions, I had no idea that our doctor would prescribe him Oxycodone in increasing strength and numbers until the disease of addiction took over his young life. In 2015, I was contacted by Theresa Almanza because she had seen an article about the arrest of my son’s dealer. She wanted to know how I was able to get his murderer prosecuted. We became fast friends. Terry’s beautiful daughter Sydney was poisoned just three months before Wesley, and she had not gotten any cooperation from her own police department, were she served as an Officer. We developed a plan to educate and improve police responses to illicit drug poisonings. I believe I was the 10 th member to join the Drug Induced Homicide Facebook page Terry had started. This has allowed us to share our expertise and knowledge with thousands of other families and obtain justice through the criminal courts.

Now as a Board member for the Drug Induced Homicide Foundation I volunteer my time advocating for victims of this epidemic. Beyond working directly with victims, I have given many presentations to myriad groups from speaking to Congress and high schools, to Victim Advocates and conferences, to appearing in documentaries and news articles. I am proud of the work DIH has done and will continue to fight to remove the stigma of illicit drug poisoning. I do this because I could not save my beautiful boy. It’s our job to Stop the Stigma of Drug Induced Homicide Deaths. Over 110,000 deaths were attributed to illicit drug poisoning in 2023. Despite being the #1 cause of death in the US for 18-45 year old’s in recent years, there is no outrage. Most law enforcement officers don’t know how to properly investigate a drug poisoning, so they simply call it an “accidental overdose” and close the case. The cases that are prosecuted are often finding the dealer guilty of multiple deaths, making them serial killers. They are sentenced to prison. Why are the families of these dead victims treated differently than other crime victims? Our murdered loved ones are not even considered crime victims, and receive no victim services. I believe it’s our duty to give all of grieving families the advocacy, respect and dignity we deserve.