Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that a federal jury returned guilty verdicts on Thursday, April 7, 2022, against Defendant Marcus L. Sanders, 24, of Parma Heights, Ohio, following a four-day trial before Judge Benita Y. Pearson in Youngstown. Sanders was found guilty of distributing fentanyl that led to the death of an individual and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, heroin, N-Butyl Pentylone, cocaine and marijuana.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, on May 3, 2020, Middleburg Heights Police responded to a call for a suspected overdose at a residence. First responders arrived and transported the individual to a hospital, where they were later pronounced deceased. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy and determined the victim’s cause of death to be acute intoxication by fentanyl and diphenhydramine.
Law enforcement officials began an investigation into the overdose incident and identified Sanders as the person who had distributed the fentanyl that led to the fatal overdose. Sanders was later arrested, and his residence and vehicle were searched. During the search, officials obtained quantities of fentanyl, N-Butyl Pentylone, heroin, cocaine and marijuana.
Sanders is scheduled to be sentenced on August 4, 2022, and faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison.
This case was investigated by the Middleburgh Heights Police Department and the DEA, with assistance from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office, the Cuyahoga County Regional Forensic Science Laboratory, and the FBI Cellular Analysis Survey Team. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys James P. Lewis and Patrick P. Burke.