ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Oregon man sentenced to life for role in Grand Forks fentanyl deaths

FARGO -- An Oregon man who pleaded guilty to distributing fentanyl linked to two overdose deaths in Grand Forks, N.D., was sentenced to life in prison in Fargo federal court Wednesday, July 13.

FARGO -- An Oregon man who pleaded guilty to distributing fentanyl linked to two overdose deaths in Grand Forks, N.D., was sentenced to life in prison in Fargo federal court Wednesday, July 13.

Brandon Corde Hubbard, 41, initially entered the plea as part of an agreement in December, in which he admitted his role in selling drugs that led to the overdose deaths of 18-year-old Bailey Henke and 19-year-old Evan Poitra in Grand Forks. Both Poitra and Henke died after taking fentanyl citrate, a synthetic opioid 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

“I hurt a lot of people,” Hubbard said before U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Erickson at his sentencing Wednesday morning. “Being a drug dealer is not something I aspired to.”

Erickson also ordered Hubbard to pay about $17,000 in restitution to the families of the Poitra and Henke.

Hubbard was facing charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances resulting in serious bodily injury and death, distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death, and money laundering. He faced two life sentences on the first two counts.

ADVERTISEMENT

He imported $1.5 million worth of fentanyl citrate from China and Canada and distributed it by mail throughout the country.

The sentencing was originally slated for later this summer, but the hearing was expedited to accommodate Hubbard’s medical needs, including shoulder surgery. After his medical issues are addressed, he’ll be transferred to a federal prison, though Erickson said he can still appeal the sentence.

“This isn’t someone who I’d say society needs to be afraid of,” said defense attorney Jeff Bredahl at the sentencing.

The Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force began investigating after the overdose death of Henke on

Jan. 3, 2015. The investigation revealed Hubbard used the Dark Web, the network of public websites which servers' IP addresses are hidden, to anonymously distribute fentanyl and other drugs from his home in Portland, Ore.

One of the recipients of drugs from Hubbard was Ryan Jon Jensen, 20, of Grand Forks, who was sentenced Feb. 1 to 20 years in prison for his role in the fentanyl overdose deaths.

Others from Grand Forks have been sentenced to federal prison as a result of the investigation: Joshua Tyler Fulp, 20, received 12 years; Kain Daniel Schwandt, 19, 3½ years; David Todd Noye Jr., 18, 3¼ years; and Jameson Robert Sele, 20, three years.

Related Topics: CRIME
What To Read Next
With HB 1205, Reps Mike Lefor and Vicky Steiner would prohibit "sexually explicit content" in public libraries. Facing an uphill battle, the pair remain united in their commitment to see it passed.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
City accountant reports increases in oil impact, sales tax, hospitality tax and occupancy tax revenue during the Jan. 24 meeting, commission approves two policy amendments.
Testimony to the top House committee from a convicted attendee of the Jan. 6 rally focused on the "inhumane" treatment of Jan. 6 defendants. The committee rejected a resolution on the matter 12-0.