Two Orrville men were indicted for selling fentanyl that resulted in a fatal overdose, law enforcement officials said.
Kenneth L. Johnson, 44, and Joseph N. Carpenter, 33, were indicted on one count of distribution of fentanyl. That count carries a sentencing enhancement because the fentanyl they sold resulted in a death. Johnson faces an additional count of distribution of fentanyl.
Johnson and Carpenter on Dec. 2, 2016, met with Drew Eberly at 316 North Ella Street in Orrville and sold him fentanyl. Eberly subsequently overdosed and died from the fentanyl, according to court documents.
Carpenter told investigators that he set up the sale in which Eberly purchased $20 worth of drugs from Johnson, according to court documents.
Johnson also distributed fentanyl on Dec. 3, according to court documents.
“We continue to seek long prison sentences for drug dealers who sell opioids that kill our children, friends and neighbors,” Acting U.S. Attorney David A. Sierleja said. “Aggressive prosecution, combined with increased treatment, prevention and changes in prescribing practices are key to turning the tide on the heroin and opioid epidemic.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Tim Plancon said: "The job of the DEA is to identify, disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations that are distributing the dangerous and illegal fentanyl-based substances that have been responsible for countless deaths in the United States. When dealers provide illegal drugs to victims and the substances' use results in bodily harm or death, the DEA -- with the support from our law enforcement partners -- will continue to mobilize resources and personnel to investigate, arrest and successfully prosecute the people responsible."
“The speed with which these arrests were made likely saved lives,” said Orrville Police Chief Matt Birkbeck. “This case sends a message to others engaged in this behavior that the time for warnings is over. These cases are being taken very seriously.”
“The MEDWAY Drug Enforcement Agency will continue to collaborate and work closely with our local and federal partners to hold people accountable for their actions who are involved in trafficking drugs in our communities and bring them to justice,” MEDWAY Director Donald J. Hall said. “A very strong message is being sent to those involved when they are indicted federally.”
If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron P. Howell following an investigation by the Orrville Police Department, the Medina/Wayne County Drug Task Force (MEDWAY) and the DEA, with assistance from the Wayne County Coroner’s Office.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.