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Press Release

Akron man sentenced to life in prison -- and ordered to pay funeral expenses -- for selling fentanyl that killed Akron woman

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

An Akron man was sentenced to life in prison for selling fentanyl and heroin that resulted in the death of a 23-year-old Akron woman.

Ryan Sumlin, 29, was convicted by a jury earlier this year on charges of distribution of fentanyl and heroin that resulted in death, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

U.S. District Judge Donald C. Nugent sentenced Sumlin to life in prison on the first two counts and 30 years in prison on the third count. He also ordered Sumlin to pay restitution in the amount of $4,639.85 – the cost of Carrie Dobbins’ funeral.

Sumlin sold a mix of fentanyl and heroin to Dobbins on March 28, 2015. Sumlin mixed fentanyl – which is far more powerful – with heroin but did not tell his customers. The fentanyl he obtained originally came from China, according to court documents and trial testimony.

Akron police detectives found more than 220 grams of fentanyl at Sumlin’s home when he was arrested. He continued to sell drugs after Dobbins died and while he was out on bond facing state criminal charges, according to court documents and trial testimony.

“This defendant is responsible for the death of a young woman in Akron after he sold her fentanyl that came from China,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. “We will prosecute cases that target this epidemic from all fronts, whether it’s doctors irresponsibly overprescribing, dealers profiting off the misery of their neighbors, or suppliers shipping drugs around the globe.”

“Sumlin’s drug trafficking caused a fatal overdose that will forever affect the Akron community," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy Plancon. "The men and women of DEA along with our law enforcement partners are committed to improving the communities we love and live in, and never give up on our efforts to put the most heinous drug dealers in jail.”

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliott Morrison. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Akron Police Department and the Fairlawn Police Department.


Mike Tobin

Updated August 23, 2018