MADISON, WIS. — Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Darnell Brunt, 33, Madison, Wisconsin, was sentenced on April 18, 2018 by U.S. Chief District Judge James D. Peterson to nine years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. Brunt pleaded guilty to this charge on February 7, 2018.
The charge against Brunt was the result of an investigation initiated after the heroin overdose death of Victor Spidell. In May 2017, Spidell died from using heroin laced with fentanyl. A Madison Police Department investigation revealed that on the day of his death Spidell contacted a phone number associated with the defendant.
Following the investigation of Spidell’s death, the Dane County Narcotics Task Force made four heroin buys from Brunt using an undercover officer. On September 18, 2017, an undercover officer set up another heroin buy and Brunt, along with co-defendant Claudius Fincher, were arrested on their way to the buy. Law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at Brunt’s apartment in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, and found 125 grams of heroin, some of it laced with fentanyl, and a loaded firearm.
At sentencing, Chief District Judge James D. Peterson stressed the serious nature of the offense and Brunt’s history of drug dealing as reasons for imposing the nine-year sentence. U.S. Attorney Blader expressed his office’s commitment to combatting the opioid crisis by prosecuting heroin dealers who are distributing significant quantities of heroin in the Western District of Wisconsin.
Co-defendant Claudius Fincher has pleaded guilty and is set for sentencing in front of Judge Peterson on May 25, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.
The charge against Brunt was the result of an investigation conducted by the Dane County Narcotics Task Force, Madison Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Dane County Sheriff’s Office, and Sun Prairie Police Department. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Reinhard.