Cuyahoga County

Cleveland drug dealer sentenced to 9 years for fatal fentanyl overdose


CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Cleveland man will spend nine years in prison for selling fentanyl that led to a fatal overdose.

Mario Edmonds, 35, was sentenced Wednesday by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John D. Sutula, who found the drug dealer guilty of involuntary manslaughter March 30.

Even as he was sentenced, Edmonds denied that he sold the drugs that killed 66-year-old William Cohen. Edmonds delivered a rambling statement before being sentenced telling the judge that he might have sold the "same stuff" that Cohen took, and that he didn't sell heroin, only crack.

"I don't know how you found me guilty. They changed the bags. The bag I sold him wasn't even open," Edmonds said. "I'm a crack dealer, I deal crack."

Edmonds went on to say that evidence was planted and that a witness to Cohen's death was a known drug user and was not credible. As he was being walked out of the courtroom he said "I'm going to sue y'all when I win this appeal."

Cohen died at his apartment in on East 98th Street May 31 of a fentanyl overdose. Prosecutors said a toxicology test also revealed that he had cocaine in his system at the time he died.

Prosecutors described Cohen as a long-time heroin user who never used fentanyl and had no idea the drug was in the bag he bought from Edmonds. The fentanyl was 50 times stronger than heroin, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John Patrick Colan said, and killed Cohen within minutes.

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