A Monroe woman was arrested recently in the death of a Weddington man after police say she sold him the fentanyl that killed him.
Casey Nicole Garner, 30, was indicted on July 31. She is charged with death by distribution, second degree murder and the sale of illegal drugs, according to the Matthews Police Department.
Garner is accused of selling fentanyl to Daniel Hogan, 28, who died last August after overdosing on the drug, the police department said in a news statement Thursday.
Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and was originally prescribed by doctors for pain, however just 2 milligrams of the drug is enough to kill a person, according to the DEA.
Hogan’s family remembers him as “a talented guitarist and dedicated music and art enthusiast,” whose greatest joy in life was spending time with his son, according to his obituary.
“Although Daniel ultimately succumbed to his long battle with addiction, he will be remembered as the fun-loving, easy-going, music-loving, good-hearted person we all knew him to be,” according to the obituary.
Garner was being held at the Union County Jail on a $1 million bond as of Thursday morning, according to Matthews Police officials.
Death by distribution in NC
Death by distribution is a felony charge in North Carolina in cases where someone sells an illegal drug to someone who dies in an overdose. It was signed into law by the North Carolina legislature in 2019 and carries a maximum sentence of nearly 20 years in prison, The Charlotte Observer previously reported.
Police and court officials say death by distribution cases are difficult to prosecute due to the threshold of evidence needed to convict a person of the crime.
To prove someone is responsible, police and prosecutors must show a suspect sold the victim the illegal drug that killed them; the drug was responsible for the victim’s death; and must prove that the victim didn’t have an underlying medical condition triggered by the drug, according to the law.
Fentanyl in Charlotte
Matthews Police officials said fentanyl is so prevalent that “there is no way for you to be certain of what is in street-level narcotics.”
“The person selling them to you is not a pharmacist or a doctor, so why would you take their word for it?” police officials said.
Overdose deaths have risen in communities across the state. On Monday, Mecklenburg officials held a press conference and announced overdoses in Charlotte have risen more than 20% in the past year, largely due to fentanyl in the community, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said earlier this week.
Fentanyl is quickly becoming the most prevalent drug in the Charlotte-area, CMPD previously told the Observer.
Last year in both North and South Carolina, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations seized three times the amount of fentanyl capable of killing every resident in both states, officials told the Observer. That amount is nearly 800% more than the federal agency seized in the two states in 2020, and over 200% more than was found in 2021, the agency reports.