Man Sentenced to 5½ Years in Prison for Fentanyl Trafficking

Derrick E. BuntemanDerrick E. Bunteman (Submitted Image)

LANCASTER, PA — A Manheim Township man was sentenced to 5 ½ to 11 years in state prison Tuesday for dealing the fentanyl that resulted in the death of 25-year-old Chad Neiss II, announced Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams.

Derrick E. Bunteman, 28 of the 400 block of Eden Road, pleaded guilty to a first-degree felony charge of drug delivery resulting in death on Feb. 1, 2022, for supplying fentanyl to Neiss II on Oct. 5, 2020. Neiss II was found deceased in his bedroom the next day and the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office indicated the cause of death as acute fentanyl toxicity.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Ponessa prosecuted the case and outlined some of the evidence that would have been introduced during the trial.

Ponessa said the defendant was a low- to middle-level drug dealer whose fentanyl packaging contained the label “Maserati.” Investigators were aware of a separate individual who had overdosed on fentanyl with that same label two times in late Sept., a few weeks before Neiss II’s death.

“People always try to put the blame on the victim, but the people who deliver and sell these drugs know what can happen in these situations,” Ponessa said. “Especially with heroin and fentanyl. The defendant knew people were overdosing on this brand of drug.”

Ponessa also stated the defendant had active investigations after being stopped by police twice after going to Philadelphia to acquire the drugs.

Bunteman decided to plead guilty to the charge a week before trial was scheduled to begin.

“This was going to be a trial for years,” Ponessa said. “He pled guilty a week before trial. The family’s been waiting for closure. We have this statute and crime for a reason. The defendant needs to be held accountable.”

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Defense counsel argued Bunteman also suffered from drug addiction and was in a coma after overdosing in Nov. 2022. The Defense mentioned the defendant’s limited criminal record and positive work history as reasons for a mitigated sentence. The Defense asked for a max county sentence.

Lancaster County Judge Jeffery Conrad ordered a sentence.

“Fentanyl is a retched drug,” Judge Conrad said to the defendant. “You don’t have to be the one out there peddling this drug, yet you are.”

Former Manheim Township Police Detective Steven Newman filed charges.

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