ST. GEORGE — A St. George woman will serve 33 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to distribution of fentanyl.
U.S. District Judge David Nuffer imposed the sentence on 33-year-old Lacey Nichole Crawshaw in St. George Wednesday. Crawshaw will serve 36-months of supervised release when she finishes her prison sentence. There is no parole in the federal criminal justice system.
Crawshaw was charged with distribution of fentanyl after she sold counterfeit Oxycodone 30 mg pills containing fentanyl to a confidential source four times over a one-month period. Each transaction included 10 to 30 pills.
Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as an analgesic (pain relief) and anesthetic. It is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin, according to a DEA fact sheet.
The drug is also one of the most dangerous cutting agents used by drug traffickers in making counterfeit pills, including oxycodone pills. Lacing the counterfeit pill with fentanyl makes the drug cheaper to produce and can generate large profits for drug dealers. It also increases the risk of overdose and loss of life since users may not know the pill they are buying contains fentanyl.
“Drug dealers in Utah should be on notice. If you deal in fentanyl, you will find yourself in federal prison where there is zero chance for parole. I have directed officers, agents and prosecutors that no case is too small for our review when it comes to fentanyl. It is too deadly of a substance to tolerate,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said in a press release.
“This case is a perfect example of teamwork between the Washington County Drug Task Force, the DEA, and the United States Attorney’s Office. By now we’re all aware of the devastating effects fentanyl has on our communities, even in small quantities. This case illustrates the fact that it doesn’t matter the size of the case, we will collectively and tenaciously pursue drug dealers like Lacey Crawshaw,” Sgt. Sean Sparks of the Washington County Drug Task Force said.
Crawshaw was charged in a four-counts of distribution of fentanyl in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in December 2019. She pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of fentanyl in a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors in April.
As a part of the plea agreement, Crawshaw, also known as Lacey Nichole Crawshaw-Leavitt and Lacey Nichole Crawshaw-Chavarria, admitted that on Sept. 24, 2019, she knowingly and intentionally distributed fentanyl. A Utah Bureau of Forensic Services senior forensic scientist determined that the tablets containing fentanyl that she distributed weighed approximately 3 grams. The plea agreement also included an understanding that relevant conduct that was either not charged or not included in the plea agreement could be taken into consideration by the court in determining a sentence in the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the St. George office of the United States Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. The case was investigated by members of the Washington County Drug Task Force and special agents with the DEA.
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