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Minnesota man gets life in prison over 11 fentanyl overdose deaths

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A Minnesota man was sentenced to life in prison Monday after he was convicted of selling lethal doses of fentanyl to 11 people, federal authorities said.

A U.S. district judge in Minnesota imposed the sentence after telling Aaron Broussard, 31, that his “disregard for human life is terrifying,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

A jury convicted Broussard, who lived in suburban Minneapolis, on March 31 of 17 counts, including distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, distribution of fentanyl resulting in serious bodily injury, importation of fentanyl and other crimes, the prosecutor’s office said.

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Broussard sold the fentanyl to more than a dozen people in 2016 through a plant food website, according to the release.

The overdose victims believed they were ordering a drug similar to Adderall, but Broussard sent them 99% pure fentanyl instead — the product of a mix-up with his supplier in China, the prosecutor’s office said.

After Broussard learned that several customers had been hospitalized and nearly died, he failed to warn others whom he’d sold the drug to, the prosecutor’s office. He also reached out to his supplier and asked for a discount on the next delivery.

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Eleven people died and four suffered serious injuries.

At trial, Broussard’s lawyer questioned medical evidence presented by prosecutors and said the autopsy reports never mentioned fentanyl, Minnesota Public Radio reported. He also questioned whether it was Broussard’s fentanyl that caused the deaths, according to the station.

The lawyer, Aaron Morrison, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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