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Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 10/20/16. Hamilton County EMS Paramedics Joseph Moyer, left, and Ian Stearns arrive back at Station 9 after being out on two medical calls Thursday, October 20, 2016. Area EMS workers have seen an increase in drug ODs, and have had to use Narcan, an anti-overdose drug, more frequently.

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Drug overdoses on rise in metro area

A man who sold heroin laced with fentanyl to a Chattanooga couple who overdosed on the drug has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Curtis Allen Coleman, 41, pleaded guilty in August to a federal indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute heroin and was sentenced by United States District Judge Travis McDonough, according to a release.

Coleman sold the heroin on March 9, 2016 to a man and a woman who overdosed shortly afterward in the parking lot of a Speedway.

Both had to be resuscitated and revived by emergency responders who used NARCAN, an opioid antidote, to counteract the drug.

Coleman's sentence is not subject to parole and he will also serve a 4-year term of supervised release afterward.

"Heroin knows no boundaries, it destroys its victims like a predator ravages its prey. Two lives were nearly lost at the hands of Mr. Coleman," said John McGarry, the Resident Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Chattanooga.

"Thanks to the great work of first responders, they survived. Mr. Coleman, however, is deserving of his sentence for his criminal acts. Many thanks to the collaboration of law enforcement agencies who made this investigation a success."

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