Columbia, South Carolina---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon stated today that Robert Bryan Mansfield, age 61, of Ladson, South Carolina, was sentenced today in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, for distribution of fentanyl resulting in death. United States District Judge David C. Norton, of Charleston, sentenced Mansfield to 240 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on February 2, 2017, Special Agents with ICE-Homeland Security Investigations seized over a kilogram of fentanyl that had been shipped from Hong Kong and was destined for Mansfield at his residence in Ladson, S.C. Special Agents with ICE-Homeland Security Investigations in Charleston obtained and executed a search warrant at Mansfield’s residence and recovered over 100 grams of fentanyl, numerous other controlled substances and items associated with the distribution and trafficking narcotics. That same day, Postal Inspectors with the United States Postal Inspection Service also recovered 10 packages of fentanyl that Mansfield attempted to mail to various locations across the United States.
During the investigation into Mansfield, Special Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration were able to identify Mansfield as the source of fentanyl that led to an overdose death in December 2016. Further investigation showed that Mansfield used the “dark web” to purchase fentanyl and other controlled substances from sources in Hong Kong and other foreign locations. He then sold fentanyl and other controlled substances through the “dark web” and used the United States Postal Service to ship packages to customers throughout the country.
Following the sentencing hearing, Assistant United States Attorney Nick Bianchi stated, “The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to working with federal, state and local law enforcement to combat the opioid epidemic on every level, particularly when the actions of drug dealers directly result in the deaths of others. Through the diligent efforts of law enforcement, we were able to bring to justice an individual who was pushing large amounts of a lethal drug out throughout the country and were also able to begin to bring closure to one family who lost a loved one to this crisis.”
“More than 20,000 Americans were killed last year by fentanyl and similar drugs and that number continues to rise,” said Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Atlanta Nick S. Annan. “Homeland Security Investigations is committed to continuing to work with our law enforcement partners to do all we can to stop the illegal flow of fentanyl into the country, dismantle international opioid smuggling rings and prevent this serious crisis from spreading any further.” Annan oversees a three-state area of responsibility that includes Georgia and the Carolinas.
DEA Resident Agent in Charge Jason Sandoval added, “Unprecedented, tragic loss of life defines the drug crisis consuming communities across South Carolina. The case of Robert Bryan Mansfield sends a resounding message to those sowing poison and fueling our shared tragedy. Whether you are a dark web vendor or a traditional street dealer, DEA and its law enforcement partners will apply every resource to ensure you face the full measure of justice.” "The war on drugs has been an on-going and hard fought battle for law enforcement" stated David M. McGinnis, Inspector in Charge, Charlotte Division. "The U.S. Postal Inspection Service aggressively investigates cases involving the misuse of the U.S. mail system by criminals who traffic illegal contraband such as narcotics. I fully commend the hard work and countless hours put forth by all of the law enforcement agencies involved, which resulted brining this individual to justice."
The case was investigated by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, ICE-Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office and the Summerville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Nick Bianchi of the Charleston office prosecuted the case.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of South Carolina