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Marion woman charged with death by distribution
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Marion woman charged with death by distribution

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Phillips

A Marion woman faces a felony charge following an investigation into the death of a person who took a powerful painkiller.

Capt. Shanon Smith of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged Melanie Lynn Phillips, 33, address listed as Apache Path in Marion, with death by distribution.

On May 19, 52-year-old Danica Freeman was found deceased in her residence on Charlie Drive in Marion. Detectives discovered fentanyl in her house, and an autopsy showed that fentanyl contributed to her death.

Further investigation revealed that Phillips sold Freeman the drugs, according to a news release.

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According to the CDC, pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever, approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

Rates of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone increased 10% from 2017 to 2018. Over 31,000 people died from overdoses involving synthetic opioids in 2018.
 
Reports from law enforcement indicate that much of the synthetic opioid overdose increase may be due to illegally or illicitly made fentanyl. 

Phillips was held on a $100,000 bond.

The N.C. Department of Public Safety did not list any previous convictions for Phillips.

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