Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett charged 29-year-old opiate dealer and Cincinnati resident Michael Chandler to 16 years and six months in prison after Chandler pleaded guilty to charges of drug distribution.
But Judge Barrett did not stop there; he also ordered Chandler to pay $9,000 in restitution to cover the cost of a teenage customer’s funeral.
The charges allege that Chandler sold a 17-year-old a lethal dose of fentanyl, the Associated Press reports. The body of the deceased, identified as “J.H.” in court documents, was found in his home in Campbell, Kentucky in April 2016. A coroner reported that the cause of death was a fentanyl overdose, according to the International Business Times.
This synthetic opiate is dozens of times more potent than heroin, and fatal overdoses can even occur from simply touching the powder. (RELATED: Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine Is A Looming ‘Disaster’ That ‘Changes The Game’))
Upon discovering the cause of death, a police task force was assembled to track down the fentanyl distributor. Having been tipped off that a man going by “Goldie” had sold the lethal powder to the victim, the police asked around for additional tips. Eventually, a friend of the deceased, referred to in court documents only as “CSI,” agreed to go undercover. He assisted the police operation by performing a sting transaction while wearing a camera and a wire. The dealer, “Goldie” Chandler, allegedly sold drugs out of his car and commented that his business was open “like McDonalds.”
After a lengthy period of surveillance, armed with a successful recorded purchase with the help of the victim’s friend, “CSI,” the police obtained a search warrant, raided Chandler’s property and made an arrest. Chandler was found in possession of a pistol with ammunition, drug paraphernalia, 28 grams of cocaine, and 644 grams of fentanyl.
For reference, just one gram of fentanyl is enough to cause hundreds of lethal overdoses. (RELATED: Record Fentanyl Bust Enough To ‘Kill The Entire Populations’ Of NYC And NJ Combined)