Drugs He Sold Killed 11 People. He's Going to Jail for Life

Customers thought they were buying one drug, got a more dangerous one
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2022 2:31 AM CDT
Man Who Sold Fentanyl That Killed 11 Learns His Fate
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah and introduced as evidence at a trial shows fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills collected during an investigation.   (U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah via AP, File)

In 2016, drugs sold by Aaron Broussard killed 11 people and left others seriously injured. On Tuesday, the Minnesota 31-year-old was sentenced to life in prison, NPR reports. "Although the trauma felt by the victims can never be undone and the true cost can never be calculated, Mr. Broussard will now spend the remainder of his life behind bars," a prosecutor said in a statement following the sentencing. Broussard ordered drugs from suppliers in China, then sold them in the US on a website where he listed them as plant food. Many of the victims were found dead near his signature mylar product bags.

He ordered 100 grams of 4-FA, a substance "with a chemical structure resembling that of amphetamine and MDMA" according to the National Institutes of Health, but what he received was 100 grams of fentanyl. He'd experienced product mix-ups before, and he'd been warned multiple times to test the substances he received, but he did not. Dozens of customers who were expecting a drug similar to Adderall instead got fentanyl, and because of their lack of tolerance for opiates, 11 of them died and at least five others sustained serious injuries, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. One was left legally blind and unable to speak.

Broussard was in March found guilty on all 17 counts he'd been charged with. "Even after he learned that several customers had been hospitalized and nearly died, Broussard never warned his customers not to take the deadly drugs," prosecutors said, noting that the wrongly labeled drugs were sold over a period of nearly a month and the only thing Broussard did about it was ask his Chinese suppliers for a discount on his next order. (More fentanyl stories.)

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