United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Tyler Scher, age 30, of Mount Pleasant, was sentenced in federal court in Charleston after pleading guilty to one count of Distribution of Fentanyl, three counts of Wire Fraud, and three counts of Identity Theft. United States District Judge Richard M. Gergel of Charleston sentenced Scher to 20 years in federal prison, lifetime supervised release, and restitution and forfeiture of $17,599.08. There is no parole in the federal system.

Evidence presented to the court established that in the summer of 2017, Scher befriended the victim, a young woman in her early 20s who had recently moved to Charleston. On July 11, 12, and 13, 2017, Scher attempted to steal money from the victim’s bank account. The victim noticed the attempts and informed the bank of the fraud. The next month, around midnight on August 10, 2017, Scher drove the victim to his heroin dealer and purchased opioids, which turned out to be fentanyl. In the early hours of August 11, 2017, Scher distributed the fentanyl to the victim, which killed her. Then, in August and September 2017, Scher continued to take money from the deceased victim’s PayPal account. In addition to the fraud on this victim, Scher had defrauded two other individuals.

“The facts of this case are some of the more appalling I can recall, and I am reminded of the importance of our justice system and the role it plays in righting wrongs. What a horrendous wrong we witnessed here at the hands of Tyler Scher. Mr. Scher gave this young victim the drugs that killed her, and he exploited her for financial gain both before and after her death,” said U.S. Attorney Lydon. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to bringing to justice those responsible for pedaling deadly drugs into our communities, leaving death and destruction in their wake. Fentanyl dealers take notice: We will hold you accountable for these deaths. As the opioid epidemic claims countless lives across our nation, we will also continue to stand with law enforcement and community leaders to educate the public about the dangers of opioid misuse and to get these deadly drugs off of our streets.”

Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division stated, “Synthetic opioids, namely fentanyl, when used on the streets, can sometimes be deadly (as was the case in this investigation). The life of this young lady in her 20s ended abruptly when Tyler Scher provided her with a fatal dose of fentanyl. DEA, its many law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s office are firmly committed to arresting criminals like Tyler Scher who play a role in the destruction caused by the vicious cycle of opioid addiction.”

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Mount Pleasant Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jamie Lea Schoen of the Charleston office prosecuted the case.

According to the CDC, 70,237 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in 2017, and opioids were involved in 67% of those deaths. Fentanyl can be 50 times more potent than heroin, significantly increasing the risk for overdose, and a person who obtains drugs illegally may not know that a substance contains fentanyl. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance misuse, you can find treatment options in your area at http://www.daodas.sc.gov/treatment/local-providers/.

This information was provided by the United States Attorney District of South Carolina.