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Lawrence, Massachusetts — A Lynn man was sentenced to eight to twelve years in state prison for causing the overdose death of a man who purchased fentanyl from him in 2015. Judge Mary Ames imposed the sentence this morning at a sentencing hearing in Lawrence Superior Court. She ordered the sentence to be served from and after the two to two and a half year sentence for Distribution of Class B (Fentanyl) that the defendant is currently serving.
“Drug dealers have no regard for the harm that their product inflicts on drug users and their families and our communities,” Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “The sentence imposed reflects the grave consequences of selling poison for profit.”
A jury found Carlos Hunter, 33, of Lynn, guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter on September 20th after a six day trial. Joshua Miller, 37, was found unresponsive in the bathroom of the sober house where he was living at 112 Eastern Avenue in Lynn on July 13, 2015. He was transported to North Shore Medical Center in Salem where he was pronounced dead. The Medical Examiner ruled that he had died of acute heroin and fentanyl intoxication.
In her sentencing argument, Essex Assistant District Attorney Kelleen Forlizzi recommended a 12 to 15 year sentence. “The defendant’s conduct of selling an inherently dangerous substance like fentanyl is aggravated by his knowledge of the strength of his product,” ADA Forlizzi said. ADA Forlizzi told the court that the defendant had received text messages from one of his customers warning him of the strength of the drugs he was selling. “The defendant did not heed this warning. Instead, his phone activity shows he continued to distribute poison into the community in the two weeks that followed Mr. Miller’s death, culminating with a sale to an undercover Lynn police officer.”
The defendant pleaded guilty to Distribution of Class B (Fentanyl) on March 8, 2016.
ADA Forlizzi was assisted by Essex Victim Advocate Dawn Gigante-Masterson. She also praised the work of Massachusetts State Police Sgts. David Crouse and Jason Conant as well as MSP Troopers Brian O’Neill and Steve Buccheri, of the Essex State Police Detective Unit. In addition, Lynn Police Detective Michael DiMeglio, Lt. Tom Reddy, and Sgt. Rick Carrow were instrumental in the investigation.