Greenfield man gets 13-15 years for trafficking fentanyl-laced pills

  • Some of the items seized by federal agents, the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office and local police in a June 11, 2019 raid of Jeremiah McLenithan’s Greenfield residence. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 4/15/2022 3:18:36 PM
Modified: 4/15/2022 3:17:27 PM

GREENFIELD — A Greenfield man was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in state prison after pleading guilty on Friday to charges of fentanyl and cocaine trafficking, unlawful possession of ammunition and possession of a firearm without a license.

Jeremiah McLenithan, a 42-year-old resident of Laurel Street, pleaded guilty to the five charges in Franklin County Superior Court after mailing fake oxycodone pills made with fentanyl to undercover federal agents in Kansas City, Kansas, three years ago, according to the Northwest District Attorney’s Office.

“This prosecution targeted a career criminal who was selling poison for profit without regard for the lives and safety of those who were buying it or where it was ending up,” Assistant District Attorney and Chief Trial Counsel Jeremy Bucci said in a statement. Bucci prosecuted the case.

After federal agents with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Kansas City received the fake pills from a transaction on the dark web, investigators were able to trace the pills back to McLenithan’s residence in Greenfield.

The investigation led to a June 11, 2019, search warrant executed by local police, the Northwestern District Attorney’s Anti-Crime Task Force and FDA agents, which resulted in the seizure of $12,000 worth of cocaine and fentanyl, $102,410 in cash, 117 grams of cocaine, 15 grams of fentanyl mixed with heroin, other mixed pills, two handguns and a large amount of ammunition. Officers also collected drug ledgers, passwords for dark web markets, a pill grinder, fake ID cards, shipping labels, scales, packaging supplies, and boxes containing cocaine and heroin purity tests.

Superior Court Judge John Agostini sentenced McLenithan to a total of 13 to 15 years in state prison, 10 of which are mandatory. The 10-year minimum is the result of McLenithan’s possession of a firearm and ammunition with two or more previous convictions for violent crimes or serious drug offenses, according to the DA’s office. As part of the plea agreement, the state dropped two counts of possession of a firearm while committing a felony.

“We believe the 13- to 15-year sentence in this case reflects our continued commitment to prioritize the prosecution of drug traffickers who choose to arm themselves,” Bucci said. “We are grateful to our federal partners at the Food and Drug Administration and at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas for their work and help at every stage of this investigation and prosecution.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.


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