Alleged drug dealer faces trial in customer's death

August 23, 2017 - 7:04 am
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Johnson County prosecutors know they have a difficult task ahead of them as they prepare a case against a man for allegedly selling a drug that led to a fatal overdose.

The prosecution is the first of its kind in Kansas. Michael Bickley is charged with distribution of drugs resulting in death. Matthew Martinek, 27, died after taking fentanyl, a dangerously potent opioid pain killer.

"You're basically rolling the dice, or playing Russian roulette with someone else's life," said Steve Howe, Johnson County District Attorney.

According to statistics compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 152 people died of drug overdoses in Johnson County in 2016. 

"You think about all those sweet young years before the evil of these drugs claimed him," said Denise Canon, Martinek's mother. "It's like, how does that happen?"

Michael Bickley has entered a not guilty plea. If convicted he could face up to 50 years in prison.
 

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