CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — United States Attorney Beth Drake announced that Robert Bryan Mansfield, 61, of Ladson, entered a guilty plea in federal court in Charleston, to distribution of fentanyl resulting in death. United States District Judge David C. Norton, of Charleston, accepted the guilty plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on February 2, 2017, Special Agents with ICE-Homeland Security Investigations seized over a kilogram of fentanyl that had been shipped from Hong Kong and was destined for Mansfield at his residence in Ladson. Special Agents with ICE-Homeland Security Investigations in Charleston obtained and executed a search warrant at Mansfield’s residence and recovered over 100 grams of fentanyl, numerous other controlled substances, and items associated with the distribution and trafficking of narcotics. That same day, Postal Inspectors with the United States Postal Inspection Service also recovered 10 packages of fentanyl that Mansfield attempted to mail to various locations across the United States.
During the investigation into Mansfield, Special Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration were able to identify Mansfield as the source of fentanyl that led to one individual’s overdose death in December 2016. Further investigation showed that Mansfield used the “dark web” to purchase fentanyl and other controlled substances from sources in Hong Kong and other foreign locations. He then sold fentanyl and other controlled substances through the “dark web” and used the United States Postal Service to ship packages to customers throughout the country.
U.S. Attorney Drake stated that Mansfield faces a mandatory minimum of twenty years imprisonment and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The case was investigated by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, ICE-Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Summerville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Nick Bianchi of the Charleston office is prosecuting the case.