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Man pleads guilty in drug ring after inmate overdoses

Posted: 6:09 PM, Jun 09, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-09 22:09:22Z
Man pleads guilty in drug ring after inmate overdoses

COVINGTON, Ky. – A Cincinnati man pleaded guilty Wednesday to providing drugs to a woman who then died of an overdose.

Michael Howard, 41, admitted to selling heroin to Kimberly Mullins, who could get the drugs to Jamie Green, who was incarcerated, U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey announced.

Howard also admitted to supplying a substance he believed was heroin to Mullins on Sept. 4, 2015, officials said. The substance was actually a combination of fentanyl and morphine. Mullins once again arranged to get the drugs to Green in the Kenton County Detention Center.

The next day, Green took the drugs and died of an overdose.

“Those who traffick in heroin and fentanyl cause tremendous damage to our communities and demonstrate a wanton disregard for human life,” said Harvey said. “Our office and our law enforcement partners intend to use every available tool to combat the heroin and fentanyl epidemic that has taken deep root in so many of our communities. The twenty-year mandatory minimum sentence imposed by federal law on drug dealers who traffick in narcotics that cause a death is one such tool. Drug dealers should be on notice – we intend to seek these stiff penalties when their criminal conduct results in death or serious injury – an all too predictable occurrence.”

Mullins, along with two others – Lynnette Ball and Lisa Lattimore – pleaded guilty to charges relating to their involvement earlier this year. Two others, Mabry Baioni and Heather Tucker, pleaded guilty to conspiring with Howard and Mullins to distribute heroin to Green.

Howard is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 23. Mullins, Ball and Lattimore are scheduled to be sentenced July 21. Each faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Baioni and Tucker face as much as 20 years in prison.