FARGO, North Dakota — A Grand Forks man accused of dealing a synthetic drug was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison and told to help pay back the families of two victims who died from overdoses of powdered fentanyl.
Tyler Fulp, 21, pleaded guilty in June to a federal charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances resulting in serious bodily injury and death. The government had recommended a sentence of 13 years.
Authorities say Fulp was part of a drug ring that led to the deaths last year of 18-year-old Bailey Henke and 19-year-old Evan Poitra. U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson ordered that more than $17,000 in restitution be paid to those family members by Fulp and other co-defendants.
U.S. Attorney Chris Myers and defense attorney Joseph Quinn did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
The wide-ranging case includes a defendant from Portland, Oregon, who allegedly told authorities he could be the largest powdered fentanyl dealer in the United States. Another defendant is accused of operating a criminal enterprise while imprisoned in Canada that moved fentanyl and other similar substances from Canada and China to Florida, North Dakota and Oregon. Two people from Georgia also have been charged.
Prosecutors say leaders in the conspiracy made numerous financial transactions using the Bitcoin virtual currency system, which was meant to conceal the drug trafficking operation.
Fulp is the fourth person sent to prison in the case. Jameson Sele was sentenced to 36 months, David Noye Jr. to 39 months and Kain Schwandt to 42 months.