Sioux Falls man convicted on fentanyl distribution charges

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A Sioux Falls man is facing a minimum, 20-year sentence in prison after a jury found him guilty of distribution of fentanyl, resulting in serious bodily injury.

Following a trial in Sioux Falls, U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons says 57-year-old Michael Wayne Cooper was convicted of one count of distribution of a controlled substance resulting in serious bodily injury and one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

The convictions carry with them a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, up to a maximum of life, and/or a $1 million to $10 million fine, a minimum of five years up to life of supervised release, and a $200 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Parson said according to the evidence presented at trial, Cooper knowingly and intentionally distributed fentanyl, resulting in the serious bodily injury of a victim in Sioux Falls, who overdosed on the fentanyl sold to him. The overdose victim was revived by first responders with two doses of Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, which prevented his death.

The evidence at trial further demonstrated that Cooper had been involved in an ongoing conspiracy in Sioux Falls to illegally distribute hydromorphone (commonly known as Dilaudid), a Schedule II controlled substance, from about the beginning of 2015 through August 2018.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Sioux Falls Police Department, and Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamara Nash and Assistant U.S. Attorney Connie Larson are prosecuting the case.

Cooper will be sentenced on Dec. 30, 2019.