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Long Beach Man Sentenced to Almost Four Years in Prison for Trafficking Counterfeit Prescription Drugs

Gulfport, Miss. – Robert Ashton Kerns, 23, of Long Beach, Mississippi, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden to 46 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley with the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

On April 17, 2018, officers with the Gulfport Police Department were dispatched to a Sonic Drive-In after a report of a man passed out in the driver’s seat of a running vehicle.  The man was Kerns and he was in possession of approximately 300 dosage units of oxycodone, an opiate painkiller, and over 1,500 dosage units of Xanax, a benzodiazepene.  After lab testing, it was determined that the substances were counterfeit and contained fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, a powerful opiate which is deadly in relatively small amounts.

On June 12, 2018, Kerns was charged in a federal criminal indictment.  He pled guilty on March 1, 2019 to one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and fentanyl analogues.   

The case was investigated by the Gulfport Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Meynardie.

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