Hopkins man convicted of distributing fentanyl that killed 11 people

A federal jury has convicted a Hopkins man accused of distributing the powerful opioid fentanyl that resulted in 11 overdose deaths of victims who bought a drug believed to be similar to Adderall.

Thirty-one-year-old Aaron Rhy Broussard was convicted on 17 counts ranging from conspiracy to importing fentanyl to distributing it.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger says Broussard was a "black market drug dealer" who was "concerned only with his profits."

Prosecutors say, between 2014 and 2016, Broussard got the fentanyl from drug suppliers in China and sold it under the guise of "plant food" online, using the website PlantFoodUSA.net, sending the drug to people across the country.

According to prosecutors, Broussard placed an order for 100 grams of 4-FA, a controlled substance analogue. But, what he got from China was 100 grams of 99 percent pure fentanyl.

Prosecutors say Broussard had seen a previous "mix-up" in August 2015 and was told to test his drugs, but "just didn't bother."

The fentanyl was then sent to customers expecting to get an analogue drug similar to Adderall.

"They were not opiate users and had no tolerance for the deadly fentanyl Broussard sent them," prosecutors explained. "After ingesting the fentanyl, believing it was Adderall, eleven of the customers died from a fentanyl overdose, and at least four customers suffered serious bodily injury. Broussard continued distributing his deadly packages despite hearing about adverse reactions. Even after he learned that several customers had been hospitalized and nearly died, Broussard never warned his customers not to take the deadly drugs."

While he didn't warn his customers, prosecutors say Broussard did reach out to his contacts in China, to request a discount on his next drug order.