Springfield man sentenced for trafficking elephant tranquilizer 100 times more potent than fentanyl

Christian Dearmond
Christian Dearmond

A Springfield man convicted of trafficking an elephant tranquilizer 100 times more potent than fentanyl was sentenced Friday to 3½ years in prison.

Christian O. Dearmond, 25, was one of two men indicted for possession with intent to distribute 10 or more grams of carfentanil, an analogue of fentanyl.

Dearmond was sentenced to 42 months in Dayton’s U.S. District Court by Judge Walter Rice and ordered to serve 100 hours of community service or job training plus maintain employment after his release from federal prison.

“I just feel like I’ve learned my lesson and I don’t ever want to be in this situation again,” said Dearmond, who earned more than three months of jailtime credit after his 2017 arrest. Dearmond and Craig H. Gilbreath Jr., 18, were indicted Dec. 14. Gilbreath’s trial is scheduled for later this month.

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“The nature of the crime itself is incredibly serious,” Rice said of carfentanil, which can kill someone who has direct contact with enough of it. “It’s really a miracle that anyone who purchased drugs from Mr. Dearmond did not fatally overdose.”

Dearmond’s attorney, Dennis Belli, said his client was severely affected by his father’s murder in 2012 and turned to substance abuse that led to more serious drugs.

“It’s a scourge on the community. There’s no other way to describe it,” Belli said, advocating for a sentence of about two years. “He understands that he needs to start making some right choices in his life.”

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Assistant U.S. attorney Andrew Hunt didn’t speak to the government’s preference on sentencing length. Rice said the non-binding advisory guidelines called for a sentence from 46 to 57 months and that — without any other agreements in place — the minimum sentence could have been 60 months.

Robert Mims, Dearmond’s uncle and the director of Clark County’s offender re-entry program, said his nephew performed well in three months of work.

“I saw a big change in him,” Mims said. “There’s a lot of good in Christian. The death of his father had a very negative effect on him. I don’t think he completely dealt with it. He tried to change but he just didn’t know how.”

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Rice said Dearmond has two children, including a 5-month-old with his current girlfriend, but that he is behind on financial support for his 5-year-old child.

Dearmond said he was mostly doing well when he was released on bond and working before he was re-arrested for driving a vehicle under suspension.

“I didn’t do my drugs,” Dearmond said. “I used to do drugs every day. I wasn’t thinking about drugs. It wasn’t hard for me.”

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