- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A Birmingham man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for distributing a drug that caused the death of a 20-year-old woman.

Acting U.S. Attorney Robert O. Posey and Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bret Hamilton say 31-year-old Rodrigus Pearson was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Madeline H. Haikala for illegally distributing fentanyl, a synthetic opioid painkiller, that resulted in the January 2016 death of Ashlynn Bailey of Pelham.

As part of Pearson’s sentence, Haikala also ordered him to pay $22,893 in restitution to Bailey’s family to cover her funeral expenses.

Bailey, a former University of Alabama student, died after purchasing fentanyl from Pearson. Witnesses say Bailey had been buying heroin from Pearson and that he likely substituted the fentanyl for the other drug.

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