Cincinnati drug dealer ordered to pay for fentanyl overdose victim's funeral

CINCINNATI -- A Cincinnati man was sentenced Monday to nearly 17 years in prison and ordered to pay funeral costs for a teen who died of a drug overdose.

Michael Chandler, 29, pleaded guilty in May to federal drug distribution charges.

The investigation began in April 2016, when a 17-year-old identified as "J.H." was found dead in his Campbell County home. A coroner determined his cause of death was a fentanyl overdose, according to court documents.

The Kentucky Drug Task Force found out the teen had bought heroin from a person called "Goldie." When investigators obtained the phone number for the alleged drug dealer, a records search led them to Chandler, court documents said.

Investigators used a friend of the deceased teen, identified as "C.S.I.", to make a controlled purchase from "Goldie," also known as Chandler, police said. He wore a wire and gave the purchased substance to the Hamilton County Coroner's crime lab. The substance was identified as fentanyl.

Police eventually got a search warrant and found nearly 644 grams of fentanyl, 28 grams of cocaine, a handgun, ammunition and drug paraphernalia at a home Chanlder used in Clifton.

U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett ordered Chanlder to spend 200 months in prison and pay the teen's family more than $9,000 in restitution to cover the funeral costs.

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