Man accused of providing drugs in jail overdose death pleads guilty

A Cincinnati man accused of providing drugs to a woman who overdosed in the Kenton County jail has plead guilty in U.S. District Court.

Michael Howard, 41, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and morphine that resulted in death, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Howard admitted to selling heroin to Kimberly Mullins on a regular basis in 2015, knowing Mullins would find a way to smuggle the drugs to her daughter, Jamie Green.

Mullins arranged for heroin to be brought to Green several times at the Campbell County Detention Center between May 27 and Sept. 3, according to court records. Green had been transferred to Kenton County Detention Center on Sept. 4 when Mullins again arranged to provide what she thought was heroin.

Howard admitted to supplying the drug he believed to be heroin to Mullins. The substance actually contained a combination of fentanyl and morphine, according to toxicology reports. Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate related to heroin with roughly 50 times more potency. It is often used by drug dealers to cut heroin.

Mullins arranged for the drugs to be given to her daughter through Green’s fellow inmates, Lynette Ball and Lisa Lattimore. Green took the drugs on Sept. 5 and died of an overdose.

Howard, Mullins, Lattimore and Ball were charged in the conspiracy in November 2015. Mullins, Lattimore and Ball pleaded guilty earlier this year. Two individuals, Mabry Baioni and Heather Tucker, were charged and pleaded guilty to distributing heroin to Green, unrelated to her death.

Howard is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 23 and faces up to 20 years in prison.