Man gets life in prison for selling fentanyl that killed 23-year-old bodybuilder

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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 22: The shadow of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is cast on a photograph of heroin and fentanyl during a news conference the U.S. Capitol March 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. In an attempt to fight America's opioid epidemic, Graham is introducing legislation that would increase the punishment for fentanyl distribution and trafficking. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

LORAIN, Ohio — An Ohio man will spend the rest of his life in prison for selling fentanyl that killed a 23-year-old bodybuilder in 2016.

Russell Davis, 50, was sentenced to life in prison on Friday, Jan. 25 after being convicted by a jury last year on one count of distribution of fentanyl that resulted in death.

Davis sold Jacob Castro White fentanyl, passing it off as heroin to profit because fentanyl is cheaper, according to police.

White fatally overdosed after taking the drugs on March 7, 2016, according to court records.

At the time of his arrest, Davis was on parole for previous drug dealing.

U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said he believes sentences like Davis’ is the first step in battling the fentanyl epidemic.

“Seeking long prison sentences for those who profit from selling the drugs killing our friends and neighbors is a crucial component to overcoming this epidemic that has caused so much pain and suffering,” Herdman said. “The Lorain Police Department, FBI, the Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office are all to be commended for their diligence in this case.”

While heroin and opioid overdose deaths are on the decline in Ohio, fentanyl is the leading cause of overdose deaths in the state, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

In 2017, fentanyl was involved in 71 percent of all unintentional overdose deaths, a 33 percent increase from the previous year.

“It is almost a daily occurrence to hear of a death due to heroin or fentanyl. Law enforcement will continue to work collaboratively to hold accountable those that bring this poison and destruction to our communities,” FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Hughes said.

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