Man sentenced for possession of drugs for sale, warned of future murder charges

A 49-year-old man was sentenced to six years in jail for the possession of multiple drugs for sale and was the first to receive a “Fentanyl Warning.”

Posted: Oct 15, 2021 11:49 AM
Updated: Oct 15, 2021 2:36 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - A man was sentenced in the Butte County Superior Court and warned that any continued sale of fentanyl could be followed by a murder charge, according to Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.

49-year-old Shawn Nowlin was sentenced in court on Thursday to six years and eight months in county jail after pleading no contest to counts of possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of heroin for sale and possession of fentanyl for sale.

Ramsey said Nowlin is the first to be given a warning that if someone dies in the future from a fentanyl-laced drug supplied by Nowlin, he could be charged with murder and face life in state prison.

Nowlin was stopped for speeding in April when a Butte County Sheriff’s Deputy and its K9 found pounds of meth, heroin and fentanyl in Nowlin’s truck’s tailgate.

Officials also found hundreds of counterfeit oxycodone pills which were determined to be laced with fentanyl.

RELATED: 2 drug dealers in Butte County sentenced to prison

The “Fentanyl Warning” will be given to people who sell fentanyl during their arraignment in court, according to Ramsey.

“With this warning and presumption, a drug dealer no longer has the excuse that they ‘didn’t know’ their drugs contained fentanyl should a customer die from consuming their fentanyl-laced product,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey added Butte County has seen an increase in fentanyl and any drugs sold in the county should be presumed to contain fentanyl.

Ramsey said about two milligrams of fentanyl could be enough to cause a fatal overdose.

Between January 2021 and April 12, 2021, there were 11 deaths in Butte County associated with fentanyl, according to Ramsey. The 11 deaths exceeded the number reported in all of 2020.

“No one should assume that an apparent xanax or oxycodone pill purchased illegally on the street is safe,” Ramsey said in a news release.

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