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Virginia woman sentenced to 30 years for dealing fentanyl that resulted in death

Posted at 5:05 PM, Mar 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-14 17:05:59-04

NORFOLK, Va. – A Virginia Beach woman was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison for supplying fentanyl that resulted in an overdose death.

Last year, Michele Best aka Michelle Smith plead guilty to dealing heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl out of her Oceanfront home.

According to court documents, the 44-year-old served as a regional wholesale supplier of fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine for over a year and half.

After learning that her drugs killed a young woman on December 16, 2017, she told a co-conspirator to keep the news of the death to himself and that it would be ‘business as usual,’” according to prosecutors.

Best was arrested on March 13, 2018 after the Virginia Beach S.W.A.T team surrounded her Southside Road home and seized nearly $42,000 in cash, 1.85 kilograms of cocaine, 1.12 kilograms of marijuana, 382 grams of heroin laced with fentanyl, and four firearms, including an AR-15 rifle.

“The callousness of Michelle Best is hard to overstate considering her knowledge of the death she helped cause and her desire to continue ‘business as usual,’” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “As a high-level regional supplier, she was attributed with enough fentanyl to supply 20,000 potentially lethal doses. The sentence, in this case, should serve as a reminder of what can happen to those who make it their business to exploit and profit by spreading poison in our communities. We will remain relentless in our efforts to hold drug dealers accountable.”

Best was sentenced to 30 years for both counts she was facing. She will serve the sentences at the same time. She faced a mandatory 20 years in prison.