Drug dealer gets 5 years for selling fatal dose of Fentanyl | SummitDaily.com

Drug dealer gets 5 years for selling fatal dose of Fentanyl

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

Brandon Johnson, 26, of Sterling

A man who sold fatal doses of Fentanyl in November 2015 was sentenced Friday to five years in prison, according to the Fifth Judicial District Attorney's office.

Brandon Johnson, 26, of Sterling, was indicted in Summit County in February 2016 along with a second man for their alleged roles in the Nov. 2, 2015, overdose death of 34-year-old Mark Largay.

Johnson's case was eventually moved to Denver, where he was staying in a community corrections facility when he sold Largay the patches of the powerful opioid that killed him.

Largay overdosed inside his Blue River home. He was found unconscious in his room by his roommate, William Lancaster. First responders tried to revive Largay but couldn't, and he was later pronounced dead.

A jury convicted Johnson of felony distribution charges in January 2018. Because he was serving another sentence at the community corrections facility when he sold Largay the Fentanyl, the distribution charge was considered aggravated and Johnson faced up to six years in prison for the crime.

Meanwhile, Largay's former roommate also faced charges in connection with the case. He was convicted of felony possession by a Summit County jury in May 2017 and sentenced to two years in custody the following month.

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Lancaster's charges stemmed from him allegedly advising Largay on how to close the deal with Johnson, but he escaped a more serious count of manslaughter at trial. A manslaughter charge against Johnson was dropped in July 2017.

Through testimony, it was revealed that Lancaster called 911 after finding his friend and tried to revive him. Lancaster also assisted with the investigation.

Fentanyl is a powerful drug that, when ingested even in small amounts, can be fatal. In a news release announcing Johnson's sentence, the district attorney's office highlighted statistics from the Centers for Disease Control showing that, since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137 percent and more than doubled for deaths related to opioids.

"Every day people in Colorado are dying from opioid overdoses, challenging medical and legal professionals to treat users and hold dealers accountable — different but both important strategies if we are going to save lives," District Attorney Bruce Brown said in a prepared statement.

"We must continue to look for solutions to giving communities and drug users the help they need to kick addiction such as treatment, and provide first responders with effective methods to rescue people from potentially fatal overdoses."