Dealer sentenced to 20 years after man dies of fentanyl overdose

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for distributing a lethal dose of fentanyl that killed a man in 2016.

Cortez Armstrong, 32, pleaded guilty Sept. 21 to a charge of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death. He was sentenced to the mandatory minimum of 20 years Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Michael Dunavant said.

Zachary Rutherford, 21, died of an overdose of fentanyl supplied by Armstrong, prosecutors said. His body of was discovered Oct. 10, 2016, outside a Valero gas station on Shelby Drive.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more so than morphine, officials said.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office has developed a district-specific strategy to prioritize and aggressively prosecute cases involving fentanyl distribution causing overdose deaths, and this case demonstrates the significant penalty that we will use to hold dealers accountable and deter others from selling poison to our citizens,” Dunavant said in a statement,

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