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Press Release

Charleston Man Sentenced for Distributing Fentanyl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Charleston man was sentenced today to 135 months in prison for distributing a mixture of fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Christopher Tyler, 27, previously admitted that on August 29, 2018, he exchanged text messages with a female in Charleston and agreed to sell her a substance they both believed to be heroin. The female came to Tyler’s house on Glover Street in Charleston to pick up the substance and gave Tyler money. Tyler and the female continued to text that evening into the early morning hours. The next morning when Tyler called the female’s phone, he was informed she had died. Toxicology testing done by the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed that the substance Tyler sold to the female was a mixture of fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, and acetyl fentanyl, a schedule I controlled substance.

“Today, in a tragic case of the overdose death of a beautiful girl with a promising future, the United States sought and was granted an upward departure from the sentencing guidelines,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “This office and this United States Attorney will seek upward departures from the sentencing guidelines in every possible case where it’s warranted to ensure that drug dealers spend every possible day that we can get them behind bars.  When I met with the mom and dad of this beautiful young girl, it broke my heart to hear, to see and to feel their pain.  It’s a pain that will never go away and no time will ever numb.  All I can do as a United States Attorney is to fight for justice for every mom and dad in a similar circumstance.”

The United States moved the Court to depart upwards in Tyler’s sentence because of the female’s death. After hearing the testimony of witnesses and receiving evidence, including text messages from Tyler warning the female about the dangerousness of the drugs and instructing her on how to use it safely, as well as the testimony from a medical toxicologist on the cause of death, the Court found an upward departure to be appropriate.  Senior United States District Court Judge David A. Faber imposed the sentence.

The Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman handled the prosecution.


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Updated August 6, 2019

Drug Trafficking