Wichita man pleads guilty to causing fentanyl related death
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Kansas
WICHITA, KAN. – A Kansas man pleaded guilty today to one count of distribution of a controlled substance which resulted in death.
According to court documents, on July 31, 2019, Tyler Ralls, 35, of Wichita gave Michael Marsalla, 35, an M30 pill while the two men were working together at a company in Park City. Ralls admits that he knew the pill contained fentanyl and knew that Marsalla didn’t have a tolerance for fentanyl. When Marsalla didn’t arrive at work the next day and couldn’t be reached, Ralls drove to Marsalla’s house in Valley Center and found him unresponsive. After calling 911, Ralls phoned his source for fentanyl pills to discuss whether anyone had ever died after taking them. Emergency responders pronounced Marsalla deceased at the scene. A subsequent autopsy determined the victim died of fentanyl toxicity.
“Because of the enormous influx of counterfeit pills into our communities, anytime a person ingests pills that they didn’t get directly from a medical professional, they are at great risk of dying of fentanyl overdose,” said U.S. Attorney Kate E. Brubacher. “Michael Marsalla accepted a pill from someone he thought he could trust. Unfortunately, that trust was misplaced, and it cost Mr. Marsalla his life.”
Ralls is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Valley Center Police Department are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Katie Andrusak is prosecuting the case.
Updated October 24, 2023