Man sentenced for distributing fentanyl at NKY prison

A former Campbell County Detention Center inmate will spend decades in prison for smuggling fentanyl into the jail, causing the overdoses of two other inmates.

Jonathan Stanley, 40, was sentenced Thursday in Covington federal court to 22 years in prison. That sentence, handed down by U.S. District Judge David Bunning, is less than the 30 years prosecutors recommended.

Stanley pleaded guilty in February to one count of distributing fentanyl resulting in serious bodily injury, the only charge stemming from his March 2023 indictment. He entered an open plea, meaning he does not did not negotiate a deal with prosecutors.

Prosecutors said one of the two inmates who overdosed on drugs Stanley provided would have died without medical treatment.

Stanley was incarcerated in November 2022 after being arrested by U.S. Marshals for violating the terms of his supervised release from a prior conviction in federal court, prosecutors said.

On the same day that Stanley was transferred from an isolation cell to general population, prison staff went to a cell where an inmate was exhibiting symptoms of a suspected overdose, including respiratory distress and seizures, they said. prosecutors said.

After treating that inmate with Narcan and arranging for him to be transported to the hospital, another inmate in the same cell also began showing signs of overdosing.

One of the inmates later told investigators they used the same substance, provided by Stanley in exchange for promises of money that would be deposited into his prison account, prosecutors said.

The inmate handed the remaining substance to deputy jailers and it was later identified as fentanyl.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Bracke said the inmates thought the substance was cocaine, although there was no evidence Stanley tried to mislead them.

Prison surveillance video showed Stanley handing something to one of the inmates in the hallway outside his cell shortly before the overdoses, prosecutors said.

Stanley told other inmates in solitary confinement that he was carrying drugs and planned to distribute them once he was allowed to mingle with other inmates in the facility, prosecutors said, adding that officers had not conducted a full search when Stanley was arrested.

Prosecutors said both inmates have made a full recovery.

Bunning said the death resulting from Stanley’s distribution of drugs throughout the prison would certainly have been worse. The judge, however, emphasized that the offense was serious since it occurred in a correctional establishment.

“He was not in a good place mentally at that time,” Eric Eckes, Stanley’s attorney, said in court.

Eckes said Stanley accepted responsibility for his actions and recognized the seriousness of his crime.

“I never wanted anyone to be hurt by my actions,” Stanley told the judge, at times holding back tears.

This article originally appeared on the Cincinnati Enquirer: Man sentenced to prison for selling drugs to NKY inmates, causing overdoses

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