Columbia Man Sentenced to Over 24 Years in Federal Prison for Illegal Distribution of Oxycodone Resulting in the Death of Former UofSC Student
Columbia, South Carolina --- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Anthony James “AJ” Edward Hunt, 24, of Columbia, South Carolina, was sentenced to over 24 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to the distribution of oxycodone resulting in death.
Evidence presented to the court showed that Hunt sold R.B., a former University of South Carolina student, alprazolam tablets on January 24 and 26, 2016, after R.B. expressed her desire to commit suicide. When the alprazolam tablets failed to cause R.B. to die, Hunt advised R.B. that she could take her life by ingesting oxycodone tablets. He provided her with detailed instructions on how to consume the oxycodone pills, and on January 27, 2016, Hunt sold R.B. ten 30-milligram oxycodone tablets. The next day, R.B. was found deceased in her apartment. Experts opined that R.B.’s death was caused by an oxycodone overdose. After his arrest, Hunt admitted to law enforcement that he sold the oxycodone to R.B. knowing that she intended to commit suicide.
“The job of the U.S. Attorney’s Office is to keep South Carolinians safe. That means safe from gun violence, safe from public corruption and fraud, and safe from an opioid epidemic that transcends every demographic,” said U.S. Attorney Lydon. “AJ Hunt’s distribution of oxycodone destroyed two young lives and shattered two families, and we will continue to bring justice to those, like Hunt, whose distribution of illegal drugs results in the death of another individual. It is my hope that this tragic case will also help us raise awareness among students, parents, and schools about the devastating effects the misuse and abuse of opioids can have on our college campuses.”
United States District Judge J. Michelle Childs, of Columbia, sentenced Hunt to 293 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.
The charges against Hunt were the result of an investigation led by Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Adam Roberson, with the assistance of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Richland County Coroner’s Office, Columbia Police Department, University of South Carolina Police Department, and Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
Assistant United States Attorney Benjamin Garner of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.