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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 3, 2022

West Georgia Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing with Intent to Distribute 765 Grams of Fentanyl and Fentanyl Analogue

COLUMBUS, Ga. – A Columbus resident with a lengthy criminal history pleaded guilty to attempting to distribute nearly 500 grams of fentanyl and 265 grams of a fentanyl analogue.

Michael Schlarman, aka White Mike, 31, pleaded guilty to possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute before U.S. District Judge Clay Land today and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years up to a maximum of life imprisonment to be followed by at least five years of supervised release and a maximum $10,000,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 29.

“Simply put, illicit fentanyl use kills. A single two milligram dose is potentially lethal, and Michael Schlarman was in possession of approximately 380,000 doses of this drug,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “In 2021, overdose deaths in America hit an all-time high; our office and our law enforcement partners at every level are working to combat the spread of fentanyl – and save lives – in every community across the Middle District of Georgia.”

“While in the midst of this country’s opioid epidemic, deadly drugs like fentanyl continue to ravage many communities,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “Consequently, DEA and its law enforcement partners will relentlessly pursue drug dealers like Michael Schlarman who choose to ‘push’ poison in the community for consumption. This defendant will now spend time in federal prison.”

According to court documents and other evidence, on Jan. 26, members of the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and FBI executed a search warrant at Schlarman’s residence on Wagner Drive in Columbus. Schlarman fled from the rear of the house but was later arrested with the help of DEA Air Support and escorted back to the house without incident. Inside the defendant’s residence, law enforcement found 496.4 grams of fentanyl and 265.5 grams of p-Fluorofentanyl (a fentanyl analogue), plus a Glock 9mm with an extended magazine and a Taurus 9mm with magazine and ammunition. In addition, agents found multiple jars of a cutting agent for drugs, digital scales, a 20-ton hydraulic press, a variety of drug paraphernalia and cash. Schlarman has a lengthy criminal history, including three prior burglary convictions in Muscogee County, Georgia, Superior Court.

The case was investigated by the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, DEA, ATF, and FBI.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Williams is prosecuting the case for the Government.

Updated August 3, 2022