GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that Anthony Michael Assfy, 29, formerly of Wyoming, Michigan, was sentenced by the Hon. Robert J. Jonker to 240 months in federal prison for distributing fentanyl resulting in death. On January 30, 2020, after a three-day trial, a jury found the defendant guilty of six drug trafficking charges: delivery of fentanyl resulting in death, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and crack cocaine, distribution of heroin and crack cocaine (three counts), and possession with intent to distribute heroin and crack cocaine.
The evidence at trial demonstrated that on August 29, 2018, Assfy sold fentanyl to a Solon Township resident who used the fentanyl and died. Upon arriving at the overdose scene, detectives from the Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (KANET) found evidence that indicated Assfy was the decedent’s dealer. Law enforcement posed as the victim to set up a purchase of narcotics from Assfy on August 30, 2018. Assfy arrived at the Grand Rapids deal site and was arrested by law enforcement. In addition to the fentanyl that Assfy intended to deliver to the victim, law enforcement discovered another 36 grams of fentanyl and nearly 4 grams of crack cocaine concealed in Assfy’s possession.
After posting bond on his state charges, Assfy continued to deal heroin and crack cocaine until November 2018. He was charged for distributing heroin and crack cocaine to a law enforcement agent on three occasions during this timeframe. On November 13, 2018, law enforcement searched a residence that Assfy used as a deal location and seized another 19 grams of heroin and some crack cocaine, for which Assfy was charged.
“Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is 80 – 100 times more potent than morphine and is cheap to produce,” said U.S. Attorney Birge. “All too often, we find fentanyl mixed together with heroin or fentanyl being passed off as heroin in our West Michigan communities. Due to fentanyl’s potency, ingestion is often deadly. Anyone who deals in a deadly drug like fentanyl should understand they face serious federal time in prison.”
This case was investigated by KANET, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, the Kentwood Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vito S. Solitro and Joel S. Fauson.