Columbus man pleads guilty to felony fentanyl charge
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A Columbus man with an extended history of criminal activity pleaded guilty to a drug-related charge on August 2, after law officials found him in possession of over 350,000 doses of the deadly opioid fentanyl.
31-year-old Michael Schlarman, also known as White Mike, appeared in front of U.S. District Judge Clay Land and pleaded guilty to possession of fentanyl with the intent to distribute.
By pleading guilty, Schlarman faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years up to a maximum of life in prison, followed up by at least five years of supervised release and a maximum of $10 million in fines.
“Simply put, illicit fentanyl use kills. A single two-milligram dose is potentially lethal, and Michael Schlarman was in possession of approximately 380,000 doses of this drug,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “In 2021, overdose deaths in America hit an all-time high; our office and our law enforcement partners at every level are working to combat the spread of fentanyl – and save lives – in every community across the Middle District of Georgia.”
According to official documents and evidence, on January 26, the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and many other law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant at Schlarman’s home on Wagner Drive in Columbus.
The suspect escaped through the back of the house but was found, arrested and escorted back to the residence with the help of DEA Air Support.
Inside his home, authorities found the following:
- 496.4 grams of fentanyl
- 265.5 grams of p-Fluorofentanyl (a fentanyl analogue)
- A Glock 9mm with an extended magazine
- A Taurus 9mm with a magazine and extra ammunition
In addition, law enforcement found many containers of drug-cutting agents, scales, cash, hydraulic press and other drug paraphernalia.
Schlarman already had a long rap sheet, including three previous burglary convictions.
Along with the MCSO, this case was investigated by the DEA, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Sentencing for this case is set for November 29.
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