Larry Owens charged with intent to deliver more than 5,000 fentanyl pills
Larry Owens, 25, is charged with intent to deliver more than 5,000 fentanyl pills – about 618.34 grams – in the Minot area on Tuesday. Minot police said that is the largest fentanyl bust ever made in the area and fentanyl has a street value of about $350,000.
Owens made an initial appearance on the Class A felony charge in district court in Minot on Wednesday before Judge Doug Mattson.
Ward County Assistant State’s Attorney Tiffany Sorgen noted that Owens had already been out on $15,000 bond on a charge that he intended to deliver 190 fentanyl tablets in Mountrail County on June 10 when he allegedly traveled out of state to Michigan to arrange the latest deal.
Judge Mattson set bond at $500,000 cash or corporate surety in the latest case, ordered Owens not to leave Ward County and ordered that he be placed on GPS monitoring if he is released on bond.
Sorgen told the judge that prosecutors are also considering asking that Owens be deemed a special dangerous offender, which would enable the state to seek to double any sentence that he receives if he is convicted or pleads guilty to the offense. A Class A felony normally carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Sorgen called fentanyl a “poison” and noted that the amount of the drug Owens had in his possession could amount to a “public health crisis” in the community. The amount was many times more than is needed for a lethal dose.
Fentanyl has been linked to overdose deaths in the Minot community this year. It can be about 50 times more potent than a similar dosage of heroin.