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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Bartlett Man Indicted for Distributing Fentanyl Resulting in Fatal Overdose

Memphis, TN – Christopher Pipken, 39, has been indicted for possession with intent to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine; and distribution of methamphetamine and fentanyl resulting in death. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the indictment today.

According to the indictment, in late August of 2019, the victim was found deceased at a house in Bartlett, apparently the result of an overdose. On November 12, 2020, a federal grand jury charged Pipken with distributing the drugs that led to the death of the victim. In addition, Pipken was charged with three other separate distributions of heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine.

If convicted for the drug distribution counts, Pipken faces a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison. If convicted for the distribution count resulting in death, Pipken faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years and up to life imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "The U.S. Attorney’s Office has developed a district-specific strategy to prioritize and aggressively prosecute cases involving heroin and fentanyl distribution causing overdose deaths, and this indictment demonstrates that commitment to address the opioid epidemic in West Tennessee. We commend the outstanding investigative work of our law enforcement partners at the FBI and the Bartlett Police Department in this important case."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bartlett Police Department investigated this case.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Griffith is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. This case is part of the Heroin Initiative in collaboration with the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.

The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Cherri Green Public Affairs (901) 544-4231
Updated November 17, 2020