ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge Matthew T. Schelp on Thursday sentenced a man from St. Louis County to 12 years in prison for selling the fentanyl that killed a pregnant woman in 2018.
Judge Schelp also ordered Raymond Blankenship, 27, to pay restitution of $10,300 to the victim’s mother.
Blankenship sold fentanyl capsules to the woman on Sept. 17, 2018. She originally tried to buy a painkiller from Blankenship via Facebook Messenger. Blankenship said he was out, but would call someone else to see if they had any drugs. They later arranged to meet. Blankenship knew he was providing the victim fentanyl, and knew she was pregnant.
She died a few hours later of acute fentanyl intoxication. The victim’s family found her after the overdose but was unable to save her. She left behind a young son.
“Our world is forever changed,” one of the victim’s relatives told Judge Schelp Thursday. “Fentanyl is the work of the devil.”
After the woman’s death, St. Louis County police detectives posed as the woman and arranged to buy more drugs from Blankenship. When police tried to arrest him, Blankenship ran and swallowed some capsules containing fentanyl.
The case was investigated by the St. Louis County Police Department.