An Akron man is under indictment in connection with selling fentanyl from China that resulted in a death in the city early this year.
Leroy Shuarod Steele, 36, who has a lengthy criminal record in Akron and other Summit County cities, was named Tuesday in a two-count federal indictment by authorities in Cleveland.
The first count contained separate allegations for conspiring with Sabrina M. Robinson, 34, and Ryan Sumlin, 26, both of Akron, to possess fentanyl with intent to distribute it, and conspiring with them to distribute the drug.
The second count accused Steele of distributing the drug, resulting in what authorities called a “fatal overdose” of a person, who was identified only by the initials “TR,” on March 21 in Akron.
Steven M. Dettelbach, head of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland, said that Steele, Robinson and Sumlin obtained the drug from suppliers in China and distributed it to residents in Akron, Fairlawn and elsewhere between March and April this year.
Court records show that Steele was arrested 18 times in Akron alone since 1997 for offenses such as felony drug abuse, misrepresenting his identification, willful fleeing, theft, drug trafficking and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He also has numerous arrests in Stow and Barberton.
Sumlin faces an additional federal charge of distributing fentanyl.
Dettelbach said the arrests and the fentanyl-related death underscore the dangers of using heroin or fentanyl.
“Making the mistake of using this drug even once might be the last mistake a person ever makes,” he said.
Officers from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, along with the Akron and Fairlawn police departments, conducted the investigation that led to the arrests.
Dettelbach said the probe is continuing and could result in additional charges.
Ed Meyer can be reached at 330-996-3784 or firstname.lastname@example.org.