- Associated Press - Thursday, July 14, 2016

GRETNA, La. (AP) - Jefferson Parish authorities say a Harvey man has been sentenced to 20 years for possessing and intending to distribute a synthetic opiate painkiller.

District Attorney Paul Connick’s office says in a news release that 36-year-old Courtney Ables was sentenced on Tuesday after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl (FEHN’-the-nihl) . He also pleaded guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

An earlier plea in the case had been vacated on appeal. Wednesday’s news release said a jury had been seated for Ables’ trial when the new plea was entered.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly 78 Americans die every day from overdoses of opioids, including prescription pain relievers, heroin and fentanyl.

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