Man sentenced for possessing fentanyl in jail

Mark Anthony Rodgers Jr., 34, Minot, was sentenced on Friday to five years in prison for Class B felony possession of fentanyl and Class C felony possession of drug paraphernalia, both on April 27 while he was incarcerated at the Ward County Jail.

The state agreed to dismiss a charge of Class A felony possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance at the jail against Rodgers. A prosecutor said further investigation showed that Rodgers’ cell mate had left the illegal drugs in the cell also occupied by Rodgers but Rodgers did not arrange to bring the drugs into the jail.

Rodgers had been walking around the jail while high and was in possession of a straw and a rolled up playing card, both typical of paraphernalia used to ingest illegal substances, according to statements made at the hearing on Friday.

Judge Stacy Louser said she was relieved to hear Rodgers had not been responsible for bringing the drugs into the jail because he had been incarcerated at the time on a murder charge for injecting a 16-year-old girl with a fentanyl and methamphetamine mixture on Dec. 14, 2020, at a Minot hotel and failing to get help soon enough when she overdosed and died. Rodgers has maintained that he never intended for the girl to die.

Last month Louser sentenced Rodgers to 30 years in prison, with a requirement that he serve 15 years, followed by five years of supervised probation for the murder charge and for the related charges. The five years he was sentenced to in the possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia at the jail case will be concurrent with his sentence on the murder charge. Louser also ordered Rodgers to pay court costs.


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