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Rick Shapiro
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Fentanyl Peddler Sentenced in Criminal Case

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Jason L. Coker, of Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), was sentenced to two years in jail for selling Fentanyl, a powerful painkiller, to two teens who died when they took it with alcohol. I have been warning presecription drug users about the dangers of Fentanyl for some time, and this case highlights the worst of what can happen when the drug is abused.

In September, Coker, 32, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance. He admitted to selling the teens 10 Fentanyl patches for $100 in January 2010 at the restaurant where he worked.

Police found the bodies of Barry Sullivan, 18, and David Ellison, 19, in January 2010. They reportedly overdosed on Xanax, Fentanyl, and alcohol.

Coker was released on bond after his arrest, but “flunked out” of the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office pretrial release program due to drug use. He went back to jail, where he remains, prosecutor David Laird told Judge Edward W. Hanson Jr.

Judge Hanson sentenced him to 15 years but suspended all but two. Nabil Butros, 30, another man charged in the case, was sentenced to a year in jail for conspiracy to distribute Fentanyl.

Illicit versions of fentanyl were tied to more than 1,000 deaths in the U.S. between 2005 and 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fentanyl Can Be Deadly If Used Recreationally. It is a very dangerous drug that our firm has a lot of interest in getting off of the market. Please also view another article that I wrote on this subject here.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA and NC offices) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach InjuryBoard, Norfolk InjuryBoard, and Northeast North Carolina InjuryBoard as a pro bono service.