BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — A man from Bryan County along with a man from Marietta have been sentenced to federal prison after a fatal fentanyl overdose led police to the drug traffickers that distributed and sold the victim synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Javarus “Jody” McKinney, 34, of Richmond Hill was sentenced to 130 months in prison followed by six years of supervised release following a 4-day trial, according to Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. His charges include possession and intent to distribute fentanyl, among several others. He was acquitted on enhanced charges related to the death of the victim. Darien Cothern, 34, who was also convicted of fentanyl trafficking in the case was sentenced to 42 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

The investigation began after a 25-year-old male was found dead in a residential pool in Richmond Hill on August 12, 2020. Police were able to determine after an autopsy that the death was caused by swallowing a fatal dose of fentanyl. Investigators identified McKinney as a distributor of counterfeit Oxycodone pills that contained fentanyl. Cothern had obtained the pills from McKinney who sold the pills to the victim.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team, and the Richmond Hill Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Darron J. Hubbard and Frank M. Pennington II.