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Drug dealer sentenced to prison in overdose death

Terrelle Lucero, 26, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and drug charges.

BOULDER, Colo. — A man who sold fentanyl that was used in an overdose death was sentenced Thursday to nine years in prison.

The Boulder County District Attorney's Office said in a release that in April 2022, the Boulder County Drug Task Force (BCDTF) began investigating a fentanyl death that had happened in Boulder. 

The investigation identified Terrelle Lucero, now 26, as the person who sold fentanyl to the victim, according to the release. They then arranged a controlled buy of fentanyl from him. 

In May 2022, law enforcement officers contacted Lucero and arrested him. A search of Lucero and his vehicle turned up a small black scale with white residue and a handgun. They also found more than 75 fentanyl pills in his possession while searching him at the jail, according to the release.

In addition to drug charges, the district attorney's office filed a charge of manslaughter because Lucero was believed to have caused the victim's death by selling drugs to him.

Under the law at the time of the victim's death, the release said, Lucero faced a presumptive sentence of two to six years in state prison for manslaughter. On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and possession with intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance. 

As part of the plea agreement, the release said, Lucero was sentenced to a total of nine years in prison — four years for manslaughter and five years for the drug charge.

If the death had taken place after House Bill 22-1326 went into effect, the possible sentence for manslaughter would have been eight to 32 years.

The district attorney's office said the victim's family supported the plea and sentence, and that they were "shattered and devastated" by the loss of their only son. They said they were grateful that law enforcement pursued the case and that the sentence would take a drug dealer off of the streets. 

“I greatly appreciate the effort that the Drug Task Force and our prosecution team dedicated to this tragic case," District Attorney Michael Doherty said in a statement. "Fentanyl dealers must be held fully accountable for the destruction they inflict. This sentence does that, but it does not bring back the victim. As a community and as a nation, we must continue working to reduce drug-related deaths.”

Credit: Boulder County Sheriff's Office
Terrelle Lucero

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