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Evansville Fentanyl Dealer Sentenced to 35 Years in Federal Prison for Distribution Resulting in the Overdose of a 28-Year-Old Kentucky Woman

— January 5, 2024

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, as little as two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal, depending on a person’s body size, tolerance, and past usage.

EVANSVILLE – Johntavis Matlock, 31, of Evansville, Indiana, has been sentenced to 35 years in federal prison. In September of 2023, a federal jury found Matlock guilty of distribution of heroin and fentanyl resulting in serious bodily injury.

According to court documents and evidence introduced during trial, on December 11, 2020, Kentucky law enforcement officers responded to the overdose of 28-year-old, Lindsey Wiley in her Kentucky residence. Knowing about this near-death overdose, Matlock continued to invite Lindsey to buy heroin laced with fentanyl.

On February 28, 2021, EMS and local law enforcement responded to another overdose at the same residence. This time, they found Wiley deceased. The cause of death was determined to be an overdose caused by fentanyl intoxication.

An examination of Wiley’s cell phone revealed that Wiley frequently purchased controlled substances from Matlock. From June of 2020 through February of 2021, Matlock coordinated with Wiley to sell her both heroin and fentanyl out of his home in Evansville, Indiana.

During the sentencing hearing, evidence was admitted showing that children lived in the residence from which Matlock sold heroin and fentanyl mixtures to Lindsey Wiley.

“The tragic death of Ms. Wiley highlights the tremendous danger posed by trafficking of fentanyl and other opioids,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers. “Substance use disorder is a devastating disease that international drug cartels and local dealers greedily exploit. Thanks to the hard work of our prosecutors, the DEA, EPD, ISP, and our partners in Kentucky law enforcement, no more families will lose a loved one because of this defendant while he is in federal prison.”

“The DEA would like to continue to extend their deepest condolences to the Wiley family for the tragic passing of Ms. Lindsey Wiley.  Additionally, the DEA would like to thank the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana for their diligent work in prosecuting this important case.  The collaborative work of all agencies in this case has led to some solace for the Wiley family and the community that loved Lindsey so dearly. Individuals like Mr. Matlock who recklessly distribute deadly poisons, like fentanyl, in our communities must be held accountable and the sentence imposed today was righteous and justified,” said Special Agent in Charge, Mike Gannon.

Dealer Charged with Murder in Fentanyl, Heroin Overdose
Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Indiana State Police, Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office, Evansville Police Department, Henderson County (Kentucky) Sheriff’s Office, and the Pennyrile (Kentucky) Narcotics Task Force investigated this case.

The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Matthew P. Brookman. Judge Brookman also ordered that Matlock be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years following his release from federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Kristian Mukoski and Todd S. Shellenbarger, who prosecuted this case.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, as little as two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal, depending on a person’s body size, tolerance, and past usage. One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people. Seven out of 10 illegal fentanyl tablets seized by the DEA now contain a potentially lethal dose of the drug.

One Pill Can Kill: Avoid pills bought on the street because One Pill Can Kill. Fentanyl has now become the leading cause of death in the United States. Fentanyl is a highly potent opioid that drug dealers dilute with cutting agents to make counterfeit prescription pills that appear to be Oxycodone, Percocet, Xanax, and other drugs. Fake prescription pills laced with fentanyl are usually shaped and colored to look like pills sold at pharmacies. For example, fake prescription pills known as “M30s” imitate Oxycodone obtained from a pharmacy, but when sold on the street the pills routinely contain fentanyl. These pills are usually round tablets and often light blue in color, though they may be in different shapes and a rainbow of colors. They often have “M” and “30” imprinted on opposite sides of the pill. Do not take these or any other pills bought on the street – they are routinely fake and poisonous, and you won’t know until it’s too late.

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