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Jury convicts Little Rock man for fentanyl distribution that resulted in death

A federal jury convicted Jemel Foster of four federal drug and firearm crimes, including the distribution of fentanyl that resulted in an overdose death.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A federal jury convicted Little Rock native, Jemel Foster, of four federal drug and firearm crimes, including the distribution of fentanyl that resulted in a person's overdose death in 2021.

Following a three-day trial, Foster received the verdict on Wednesday evening, and will be sentenced by Judge Wilson at a later date,

The minimum sentence for the distribution of fentanyl resulting in death is 20 years, plus an additional minimum of five years for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. 

“Drug crime is violent crime. We are very pleased with this verdict that demonstrates the importance of holding drug dealers accountable for the harm they inflict upon others,” said United States Attorney Jonathan D. Ross.

Evidence presented at the trial revealed that a woman purchased fentanyl from Foster in the parking lot of a Little Rock Walgreen’s store on the evening of January 11, 2021.

Testimony received from the medical examiner who conducted the woman's autopsy, she died from a fatal dose of fentanyl around midnight at her mother’s nearby home.

Her mother discovered her body the next morning and contacted the Little Rock Police Department along with the The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

DEA agents explained during the trial how they were able to identify Foster as the source of the fatal fentanyl from data found on the victim’s phone.

The DEA assumed Foster would be unaware of the woman's death and used her phone to contact him and request more fentanyl on January 12, 2021.

Foster agreed to meet at the same location as the night before and was arrested by the DEA upon arrival with four grams of fentanyl on his person and a firearm in his vehicle

“The senseless death of a young woman is a tragic example of just how violent drug crimes can be, and the defendant who sold her the fentanyl that took her life will now be held accountable for his actions. Thank you to our law enforcement partners who have helped achieve justice in this case,” said Ross.

There is no safe dosage of fentanyl, and even trace amounts can be lethal.

“Fentanyl is an extremely dangerous opioid that has led to numerous overdose deaths across the country, including here in our state,” DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jarad Harper said.

If you or anyone you know suffers from substance abuse, visit Arkansas Substance Abuse Prevention or call the Mental Health & Addiction Support Line at 844-763-0198.

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