Ypsilanti man sentenced in 2017 fentanyl sales that led to overdose

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A Ypsilanti man has been sentenced to life in prison in connection with drug trafficking that resulted in two overdoses, one fatal, federal officials announced Wednesday. 

Adam Dean Brown, 41, was convicted in 2019 after an 11-day trial on charges of distribution, and conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances, investigators said in a statement.

"This case is an example of the grave threat fentanyl poses to both witting and unwitting users,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin. “We are fully committed to prosecuting individuals who continue to fuel the opioid epidemic in this state and throughout this country. We hope that today’s sentence is (a) significant step in helping to bring closure to the victim’s family.”

The release did not explain the delay in sentencing.


According to evidence presented at the trial, on Oct. 17, 2017, police found a 22-year-old man dead from an apparent drug overdose at his home. Authorities learned the victim bought the fentanyl found at the scene from Brown, who had previously been convicted of drug trafficking, federal officials said.

Investigators determined Brown and another man, James Sharp, conspired to distribute illegal drugs, including heroin and fentanyl, over 14 months in 2016-17.

A third man, Terence Robinson, also connected Brown to the overdose victim, according to the release. Robinson admitted to speaking with the victim and trying to help him find drugs. Phone records showed Robinson texted Brown and the victim the night before the overdose, authorities reported.

Sharp pleaded guilty in January 2019 to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. He was sentenced to 41 months in prison.

Robinson pleaded guilty to the same charge and was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison, officials said Wednesday.

Before Brown was arrested, he allegedly sold fentanyl to a second man who also overdosed but survived, investigators said.

“Fentanyl and heroin are causing overdose deaths throughout the state of Michigan in increasing numbers," said Keith Martin, special agent in charge of the DEA Detroit Field Division. “The DEA is committed to aggressively pursuing individuals and Drug Trafficking Organizations who distribute these poisons across the state in order to profit from the destruction of lives and communities.”