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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

North Adams Couple Charged In Case Of Fatal Drug Distribution And Subsequent Arson For Burning Victims Body And Car

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN - Damiane Buehrer and Kristy Bumpus (aka “Kristy Buehrer”), have been indicted on federal arson charges related to the January 11, 2017, burning of the body and car of a former North Adams, Michigan, resident who had overdosed on the synthetic opiate carfentanil. Buehrer is also charged with distributing the carfentanil that resulted in the death of the North Adams resident. Indeed, the indictment specifically alleges that Buehrer and Bumpus conspired to destroy evidence of Buehrer’s carfentanil distribution by burning the vehicle, body, and personal effects of the overdose victim. In addition, Buehrer faces four controlledsubstance trafficking offenses, each of which allegedly involves 5 grams or more of methamphetamine.

          Because of a prior felony drug conviction, Buehrer faces a mandatory term of life imprisonment if convicted of distributing the carfentanil that resulted in the death. Both Buehrer and Bumpus face a mandatory 10-year-term of imprisonment if they are convicted on the arson charge. The methamphetamine charges each carry a penalty of a minimum of five and up to forty years in prison, due to Buehrer’s prior record.

          The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Michigan State Police.Michigan State Police Troopers and Detective Sergeants responded to the initial scene of the fire and have been investigating the case since then. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kate Zell and Hagen W. Frank, who also prosecuted Buehrer for engaging in interstate dog fighting for profit. Buehrer was sentenced in October 2018 to serve a 46-month sentence in the Federal Bureau of Prisons for that offense.

          The charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated April 17, 2019