‘Your disregard for human life is terrifying’: Man gets life in prison for selling fentanyl that killed 11 people
ST. PAUL, Minn. (Gray News) – A Minnesota man has been sentenced to life in prison for distributing fentanyl that killed 11 people and left four with serious injuries.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said that Aaron Rhy Broussard, 31, smuggled drugs into the country from China-based suppliers and sold them online from 2014 to 2016.
According to the DOJ, in March 2016, Broussard ordered what he believed to be an amphetamine analogue, similar to Adderall, but was actually fentanyl. He did not test the drugs to ensure what he was getting, the DOJ said. He then sent shipments of fentanyl to unsuspecting customers who believed they were buying Adderall.
The DOJ said those customers were not opiate users and had no tolerance for the fentanyl that Broussard sent them. After taking the fentanyl, believing it was Adderall, 11 of the customers died from an overdose and four were left seriously injured.
According to the DOJ, Broussard continued to distribute the drugs, despite hearing about the overdoses. He knowingly did not warn other customers about the fentanyl mix-up, nor took issue with his suppliers in China.
Broussard was convicted by a jury in March on 17 counts. He was sentenced to life in prison Monday.
During the sentencing hearing, Senior U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson told Broussard, “Your disregard for human life is terrifying.”
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger said numerous families will be forever changed by Broussard’s actions.
“Although the trauma felt by the victims can never be undone and the true cost can never be calculated, Mr. Broussard will now spend the remainder of his life behind bars,” Luger said.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is reminding people that a mere 2 milligrams of fentanyl, equivalent to the size of a few grains of salt, is enough to kill someone.
“The threat of fentanyl is real, and the traffickers pushing this deadly substance will be held accountable for the lives they’ve taken, the families they’ve hurt and the communities they’ve devastated,” DEA Agent Justin King said.
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