A man in Ohio may be sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to various drug charges. The 29-year-old reportedly entered a no-contest plea to two counts of heroin distribution and four counts of fentanyl distribution as part of a deal he reached with the prosecution. A judge will choose whether or not to approve the plea deal at the man’s sentencing hearing on Dec. 17.

The drug charges apparently stemmed from an incident in which a woman died after taking drugs the accused man had sold to her. The woman had allegedly purchased fentanyl from the man on Nov. 8, and she was pronounced dead the next day. According to reports, the man acknowledged that he had sold fentanyl and heroin on several different occasions in March and November 2013.

After a plea hearing for the accused man, a U.S. attorney commented that he hoped other drug dealers would learn from the case. He said that authorities would pursue charges against a suspected drug dealer following an overdose death. The FBI and the Elyria Police Department reportedly conducted the investigation into the accused man’s drug activity.

An attorney may be able to help a person who is being charged in connection with an overdose death. In this type of case, an attorney may work to mitigate the severity of the charges by attempting to establish distance from the overdose death that occurred. If the prosecution claims that the accused person’s actions were connected to the death, an attorney may present contradictory evidence that would bring that assertion into question.

Source: cleveland.com, “Elyria man pleads guilty to federal drug charges involving heroin death of woman; faces 20 years in prison“, James F. McCarty, September 16, 2014