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Grand Rapids man gets 20 years in federal prison after fentanyl he sold killed person

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A 52-year-old Grand Rapids man will spend 20 years in federal prison after a man fatally overdosed on the fentanyl he sold to him.

Tommy Terrell Mims received the sentence Friday, May 26, on one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death. U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney handed down the sentence.

Following his release from prison, Mims will be on supervised release for 25 years.

“Fentanyl is deadly and continues to devastate our families and communities. This drug is so dangerous that even a trace amount can leave a user dead within minutes,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “Mr. Mims will now serve two decades in federal prison.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to investigating and prosecuting these cases to ensure that drug dealers who peddle this poison and cause death are brought to justice.”

The court case stems from the 2020 overdose death of a Kent County man identified by federal prosecutors only as “H.C.”

On Aug. 8, 2020, Grand Rapids police officers and emergency medical personnel responded to a 911 call reporting H.C. was unconscious and not breathing, according to federal prosecutors.

Investigators learned the 911 caller and H.C. had purchased and used supposed heroin sold by Mims the night before.

The heroin Mims sold was actually fentanyl. Federal drug officials say fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin.

While the 911 caller survived, H.C. ultimately died from fentanyl toxicity.

Mims had initially faced 30 years in federal prison but took a plea agreement that saw his sentence reduced to 20 years. He pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death.

Grand Rapids police Lt. Jon Wu with the department’s Vice Unit said the unit continues to work diligently with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to investigate and prosecute anyone distributing fentanyl in the greater Grand Rapids area.

“This investigation and sentence illustrate the seriousness of the threat of fentanyl to the community,” Wu said.

Orville O. Greene, the Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Detroit Field Division, said the lengthy prison sentence imposed on Mims reflects the seriousness of the charge.

“Mims actively contributed to the drug poisoning and overdose epidemic ravaging our communities and our country,” Greene said. “This sentence should serve as a warning to those who distribute deadly drugs and place personal gain over human lives, that you will be held accountable, and the consequences of your actions will be severe.”

Read more on MLive:

MSP: Woman killed relative, 73, in Mackinac County

High schoolers invited to apply to Kentwood Police Department’s youth academy for hands-on training

3 months after prison release, future still unclear for man wrongfully convicted

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