NC man charged with distributing powerful opioid that killed a drug user

This is the amount of fentanyl that can be deadly, officials say.
This is the amount of fentanyl that can be deadly, officials say. AP

A Goldsboro man has been charged with selling a dangerous opioid drug that killed its user, federal prosecutors said this week.

Donte Terrill Kornegay was taken into custody Thursday following indictments charging him with distribution of fentanyl resulting in serious bodily injury and death.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District in North Carolina, announced the charges Friday.

Kornegay is accused of selling fentanyl to Jason Sapp, 21, of Sneads Ferry in Eastern North Carolina. Sapp died April 7, 2016, The Daily News in Jacksonville reported.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The drug is most often used for patients who are already taking other opioids to relieve chronic or breakthrough pain, such as the pain caused by cancer.

In its purest form, fentanyl is a white powder or in grains similar in size to grains of salt. It takes only a small amount of fentanyl to cause a severe or potentially deadly reaction. As little as 2 milligrams is a lethal dosage in most people, the DEA says.

Kornegay was also charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl.

If convicted of the distribution of fentanyl resulting in death charge, Kornegay would face a minimum term of 20 years and a maximum term of of life in prison. He would also have to pay a $1 million fine, Higdon said.