DENVER, CO — A Colorado springs man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for selling fentanyl to a 19-year-old who died after overdosing. The sentencing is the longest to date in Colorado federal court for distributing fentanyl resulting in death.
Nathanial Corser of Colorado Springs, 23 years old, pleaded guilty to selling fentanyl-laced pills to Kaeden Norlander on July 4, 2021. Norlander was found dead by a family member on July 5. Now, Corser will now spend 20 years behind bars.
Norlander’s mom and family sat in the courtroom during the hearing and spoke with media after the sentencing.
“My biggest thing is I wanted him to be convicted of that offense, the distributing resulting in death. Anything less than that I would not have been satisfied with at all,” said Laurie, Norlander’s mother.
Corser also made a statement in court and said he apologizes to the victim's family and his own family. He said it's something he cannot change, and he wishes “it were me, and not him (Norlander).
The sentence hearing happened at the U.S. State Courthouse in Denver. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Colorado said prosecuting this case on the federal level brought the best outcome for the victim's family. That’s because at the time of the arrest, Colorado law was not as tough.
“20 years is a long time to spend in a federal prison. We want to reaffirm today that our office remains focused on going after the people who make and distribute this poison to our children and to our neighbors,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finnigan, District of Colorado.
Since the arrest, Colorado law has changed to allow police and prosecutors to charge anyone possessing more than one gram of fentanyl, or any substance containing fentanyl, with a felony.
While it was justice for Norlander’s family on Thursday, the pain still hasn’t gone away more than a year and a half later, and they hope it’ll be a lesson for others.
“There's no more memories with Kaeden. They're done after 19 years, so that's the hardest thing to deal with at this point,” said Laurie. “Hopefully this will be a wakeup call for a lot of parents and kids. One pill can kill you.”
“We hope that can discourage future drug sales, and that it can help to make a difference, and that other people don't have to suffer the same way that we have,” said his cousin, Samantha May.
Once released after 240 months, Corser will also be supervised for three years.
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