Fairbanks man sentenced to 14 years for counterfeit pill distribution
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Beistline sentenced Andre Ronell Brown to 14 years in prison with eight years’ supervised release for distributing counterfeit pills that contained fentanyl and resulted in the death of another person.
According to court documents, Andre Ronell Brown, age 48, distributed counterfeit pills made to resemble pharmaceutical grade 30 milligram Oxycodone Hydrochloride pills but actually contained an unknown amount of fentanyl.
On October 26, 2020, Brown distributed two of these pills to a 21 year old victim, J.L, in Fairbanks. Two days later, J.L. was discovered deceased as a result of a drug overdose. The Medical Examiner confirmed the cause of death was fentanyl, which was contained in the pills that came from Brown.
Judge Beistline noted, “the 21-year-old victim had his entire life ahead of him when he overdosed on the counterfeit pills.”
Brown had two alleged co-conspirators, Christopher Kearney, age 27, and Ladarius Edwards, age 27, who were each sentenced to five-years in jail for selling pills obtained from Brown which resulted in two non-fatal drug overdoses. An additional co-conspirator, Winston Crockett, pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
“Distributing counterfeit Oxycodone pills is a particularly insidious crime because the consumer is misled about how potent or potentially lethal they are,” said U.S Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr., District of Alaska.
Kuhn added, “When the pills are laced with fentanyl, as most are, the predictable outcome is a potentially deadly overdose. Traffickers like Brown are directly responsible for killing Alaskans, and my office and our law enforcement partners will do everything in our power to bring them to justice.”
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alaska State Troopers, Fairbanks Police Department, and North Pole Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Tansey prosecuted the case.
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