The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Former Bessemer drug dealer arrested in Duluth fentanyl bust

 

December 3, 2019



By RICHARD JENKINS

rjenkins@yourdailyglobe.com

DULUTH — A Chicago man who was sentenced to federal prison for dealing heroin in Bessemer in 2016 was arrested late last month in Duluth, in what authorities there say may be the biggest fentanyl seizure in Minnesota this year.

Raymond Valentino Bowser, 35, was one of two men arrested Nov. 21 in Duluth during an undercover operation, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Denzel Lavon Hale, 29, of Duluth was also arrested.

In addition to the arrests, BCA Superintendent Drew Evans said 80 grams of “suspected pure fentanyl” was seized during the execution of three search warrants in the case. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

“The drugs seized during this operation would have been enough to kill more than 26,000 people,” Evans said in a statement.

Bowser had previously been sentenced to five years in federal prison and 12 years of supervised release in March 2016 for distribution of heroin within 1,000 feet of a playground after an investigation that included the Gogebic Iron Area Narcotics Team conducting several controlled buys from Bowser.

The execution of a search warrant on his Bessemer residence led to the seizure of 35 grams of heroin.

Rather than commencing his 2016 sentence, a Department of Justice news release said Bowser was being transported to Douglas County, Wisconsin to face heroin-related charges there and to U.S. District Court in Minnesota for violating the terms of his supervised release from a 2008 federal drug conviction that he was still on at the time of his arrest in Bessemer.

According to information on the federal Bureau of Prisons’ website, Bowser was released from federal prison on April 12.

Although he didn’t provide information on Bowser specifically, bureau spokesman Justin Long said there were a number of reasons inmates may be let out early.

“A federal inmate’s sentence, in general, may be reduced for a number of reasons. Federal sentencing law allows inmates with good conduct to earn up to 54 days credit for every year a sentence was imposed per provisions in a recently enacted law called the First Step Act … Separately, inmates may release up to 12 months early if they complete the BOP’s Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP),” Long told the Daily Globe in an email. “Inmates may also receive credit due to time served in custody prior to his or her sentence date (i.e. ‘jail credit’). Last, inmates may release early via court order such as a compassionate release (due to old age and medical conditions) or clemency.”

 
 

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