Fentanyl Dealer Ordered To Pay For Funeral Of Overdose Victim

By Victoria Kim 11/28/17

The convicted drug dealer once bragged that his operation was "just like McDonald's."

person counting cash

A Cincinnati man who sold a deadly dose of fentanyl will not only serve nearly a decade in prison, but will have to fork over thousands of dollars to pay for a customer’s funeral. 

On April 19, 2016, a 17-year-old boy identified only by the initials “J.H.” was found dead at home in Campbell County, Kentucky. His death was ruled a fentanyl overdose. 

Last Monday (Nov. 20), Michael Chandler was sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to drug possession, and distribution of heroin and fentanyl that led to the death of J.H.

On top of that, the 29-year-old man from Cincinnati, Ohio will have to pay $9,000 to cover the cost of the teen’s funeral.

Chandler—who previously served time in prison for cocaine and heroin trafficking—had incriminated himself by recording video of drug deals “in broad daylight.” In the video, he drives past a line of cars, handing out his illicit goods to customers one after another.

He bragged that his operation was “just like McDonald’s,” with customers lined up “parked on a city street” waiting to score, according to prosecutors.

“It was one of the most appalling things I’ve seen in my nearly 20-year-career,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Apparently J.H. had believed that he was purchasing heroin from Chandler, but got fentanyl instead. “In the end, [J.H.] was nothing more than a customer to Chandler,” said prosecutors. “We do consider [Chandler’s] actions abominable, or better put, monstrous.”

Authorities were able to trace the fentanyl to Chandler, even recruiting a friend of J.H. to go undercover and do a controlled buy.

The Kentucky Drug Task Force were able to identify the source of the fentanyl that killed J.H. to a so-called “Goldie,” and traced the phone number to Chandler.  

They sent a friend of J.H. to wear a wire and purchase fentanyl from the suspected drug dealer. A drug test confirmed that the substance was fentanyl.

Upon a search of Chandler’s home, authorities uncovered cocaine and nearly 644 grams of fentanyl, in addition to drug paraphernalia including a digital scale, surgical gloves, face masks, blending equipment and a hydraulic press. They also found a handgun and ammunition.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr