Jonathan Thomas Lewis Terry did not use a gun to kill a man in 2017.
But he did deal the fatal overdose shot of the opioid fentanyl to the man who died, court testimony showed.
A judge said there was no difference in sentencing Terry to nine years in prison after Terry pleaded guilty to heroin distribution.
“Handing over heroin laced with fentanyl is the same as shooting a bullet,” Judge Dan Hall told Terry in court Friday.
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Fentanyl is a highly concentrated opioid that has been linked to overdose deaths.
Terry had no previous criminal record, yet also pleaded guilty Friday to a burglary and three car break-ins, said Randy Newman, 6th Circuit Solicitor. Lancaster County drug agents found evidence the fatal overdose in the death of the other person came from Terry, Newman said.
“I hope this sends a message to our community, folks need to realize just how dangerous these drugs can be,” Newman said. “Heroin and fentanyl are very dangerous, and we are going after the ones putting it on our streets.”