LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A Little Rock man responsible for distributing fentanyl that resulted in another person’s death has been sentenced to three decades in federal prison.
A U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Arkansas spokesperson said 32-year-old Jemel Foster was sentenced on Tuesday to 30 years in prison for four federal drug and firearm crimes, including distribution of fentanyl. The fentanyl that Foster distributed resulted in a woman’s death, the spokesperson said.
United States District Judge Billy Roy Wilson sentenced Foster to 300 months for his distribution of fentanyl resulting in death. He will also serve 60 months consecutively for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, totaling a 360-month sentence.
The federal system does not have parole. Foster’s sentence included the requirement for him to serve three years of supervised release to run concurrently after he has completed his prison sentence.
The evidence against Foster included that a woman had purchased fentanyl from him on the evening of Jan. 11, 2021. The woman died from a fentanyl overdose at her mother’s nearby home at around midnight the same night, a medical examiner testified.
After discovering her body the next morning, the woman’s family contacted the Little Rock Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration. DEA agents were able to identify Foster as the fentanyl source after checking data on the deceased woman’s phone.
DEA agents used the woman’s phone on Jan. 12, 2021, the next morning, and arranged to purchase additional fentanyl. They met in the same parking lot as the previous evening’s transaction and arrested Foster.
When Foster was arrested he had eight bags of fentanyl in pants, and a firearm in his vehicle. Two of the bags he was carrying matched what was found on the dead woman’s body during her autopsy, the spokesperson said.
The medical examiner testified at trial that no safe amount of fentanyl exists since even a tiny dose can kill immediately. The testimony continued that fentanyl caused the woman’s death.
“Fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat we are facing today, killing Americans at record rates,” DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jarad Harper said. “Last year alone, nearly 108,000 lives were lost to a drug poisoning, with fentanyl driving this record increase. Drug traffickers are mixing fentanyl in other illicit drugs in an effort to drive addiction and create repeat buyers.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson said the investigation was conducted by the LRPD, the DEA and Arkansas State Police.