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Rankin County man sentenced to over 30 years for selling fentanyl

Michael Pendelton
Michael Pendelton (Photo courtesy of the Madison/Rankin County District Attorney's Office)

A Rankin County man will spend a little more than three decades in prison for selling fentanyl.

Pearl native Michael Pendelton pled guilty on Tuesday to one count of sale of fentanyl and one count of conspiracy to sell fentanyl.

On December 28, 2022, narcotics investigators with the Madison Police Department began working with a confidential informant (CI) who told police she could buy oxycodone pills from Pendelton. The CI was given $700 in official law enforcement funds. She then used the money transfer platform CashApp to send Pendelton the funds in exchange for oxycodone pills. Pendelton sent his girlfriend to meet the CI in Madison to complete the transaction.

The Mississippi Crime Lab tested the pills purchased and confirmed that they contained fentanyl. Oxycodone is one of the most common prescription narcotics to be purchased from illegal sources. Many times these pills are actually counterfeit and contain fentanyl even though they look identical to legitimate oxycodone pills.

“Fentanyl is killing people every single day. The vast majority of the people overdosing are teenagers or in their twenties. Law enforcement has prioritized tracking down fentanyl dealers. My office is sending anyone caught with fentanyl to prison,” Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Bubba Bramlett said.

“Please use this as a reminder to talk to your kids, especially your teenagers, about the dangers of buying pills off the streets and the high overdose risk of fentanyl. The only two outcomes if you are using or selling fentanyl is prison or an overdose. I would like to personally thank and recognize the Madison Police Department for their tireless efforts to identify and catch those dealing fentanyl in Madison. Because of them, countless lives have been saved.”

Pendelton was sentenced to serve 32 years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Authorities remind individuals to beware of any illicit substances they purchase because fentanyl is dangerous and one dose can be fatal.

Gov. Reeves signs bill into law decriminalizing use of fentanyl testing strips

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