A Virginia Beach man was sentenced recently to more than 11 years in prison for his role in a heroin and fentanyl distribution conspiracy that resulted in an overdose death.
According to court documents, Christopher Allen Bardall, 34, sold at least 550 grams of fentanyl, which could translate to approximately 5,500 individual doses. He did so as a part of conspiracy with Michelle Best, whose drugs killed a woman and caused several other non-fatal overdoses.
Best was sentenced on March 14 to 30 years in prison.
Bardall was a street dealer who sold fentanyl, supplied by Best, directly to the woman who died. Bardall knew the fentanyl he was dealing was strong and that it had resulted in multiple overdoses by clients of his who used it, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
On Dec. 17, 2017, within hours of the woman’s coma and death, Virginia Beach Police officers found Bardall and arrested him following a vehicle and foot pursuit.
Court records indicated Best, also known as Michelle Smith, dealt cocaine, heroin and the synthetic-opioid fentanyl from her home in the Croatan neighborhood from 2016 until her March 2018 arrest.
“Best was dealing death from the comforts of her beach-front neighborhood,” Terwilliger said. “Heroin and fentanyl do not discriminate across economic boundaries, and nor do we. We will remain vigilant in our pursuit of drug dealers who pump poison into our communities, no matter who they are or where they are.
Local police and DEA investigators later learned Bardall got his supply of fentanyl from co-conspirator Darin Milligan, who in turn got his fentanyl from his regional supplier, Best.
Best knew the drugs she was distributing were strong and had resulted in multiple overdoses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
When she learned of the overdose death, she told Milligan to keep the information to himself and that it would be “business as usual.”
According to court documents, police raided her home in March 2018 and found drugs, a ledger detailing past purchases and about $42,000 in cash. Best was charged in 2005 but never convicted in connection with the death of her husband, 27-year-old Alexander M. Smith. He disappeared in 2000.