A former star athlete at Brainerd High School has been sentenced to serve 18 months in federal prison for fentanyl distribution.
Jamaul Herman Jr. appeared before Judge Curtis Collier.
Herman, 22, will be on supervised release for three years after finishing his prison term.
His guideline range had been 15 to 21 months. His attorney asked for the low end of the range, noting a good work history and lack of a prior criminal record.
Prosecutor Kevin Brown asked for the high end, saying that Herman involved himself in a drug trafficking organization and directly participated in the distribution of fentanyl pills. He said Herman sold or arranged the sale of fentanyl pills to a confidential source on two separate occasions, totaling 100 pills.
On another occasion, Herman and another individual met with the government's confidential source and sold 20 fentanyl pills.
Herman was released with pretrial conditions following his initial appearance in court on the drug case. Four months after his release, he fled on foot from Chattanooga Police officers, hid in a wooded area, and was found to be in possession of a stolen firearm. He then went back into custody.
Prosecutor Brown said, "This was a serious offense. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. According to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, overdose deaths stemming from synthetic opioids in the United States, such as fentanyl, have increased exponentially in recent years, rising from 58,000 in 2020 to 71,000 in 2021.
"Tennessee has seen a similar increase, with fentanyl overdose deaths rising almost 50 percent from 1,087 in 2019 to 2,014 in 2020."
Herman played one year of football at Bethel University.