Cheyenne Man Charged After Fentanyl He Allegedly Sold Resulted in Buyer’s Death
Shelby Girten faces 20 years in prison
- Published In: Criminal Justice
- Last Updated: Jun 07, 2023
By Ellen Fike
Special to the Wyoming Truth
A Cheyenne man has been charged with distributing fentanyl after a dosage he sold earlier this year resulted in a young man’s death.
Shelby T. Girten, 27, was charged in U.S. District Court on Friday with distribution of fentanyl, a felony count that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
According to a probable cause affidavit, on Feb. 6, Cheyenne Police Department officers were dispatched to a home where they found the body of a 20-year-old male, identified in court documents as “M.A.” Police discovered that the deceased had purchased fentanyl pills from Girten and used them the night before.
Over the next two days, in interviews with police, Girten told investigators he knew M.A. to have used fentanyl and cocaine in the past. In the week leading up to M.A.’s death, Girten arranged three drug transactions where he purchased fentanyl pills that he then sold to M.A., the affidavit stated.
Girten said he last saw M.A. between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Feb. 5., when M.A. and several friends drove to his home to purchase the fentanyl pills.
Girten and his girlfriend, identified as “M.P.,” contacted a source, Kyle Rozell, for fentanyl pills through Facebook Messenger, according to the affidavit. Rozell agreed to sell Girten the drugs; M.A. paid Girten $40 to purchase the pills.
Girten and M.P. traveled to Rozell’s home, where they purchased 10 fentanyl pills for $47—of which $40 came from M.A., the affidavit stated. When the pair returned to Girten’s residence, Girten gave M.A. four fentanyl pills.
After he learned about M.A.’s death, Girten told police that he deleted all of his Facebook conversations and his Facebook account, explaining that he was “scared” because he had sold M.A. the fentanyl pills.
On Feb. 8, police interviewed T.H., who was at the scene the night M.A. died. T.H. said he went to M.A.’s residence to play video games with a few friends until around 8 p.m. on Feb. 5, when the group left and went to Girten’s home to buy the drugs, according to police records.
T.H. said M.A. asked him for $40 when they arrived at Girten’s home, and he gave M.A. the money. A man entered their vehicle, took the money and left in another car. About 20 minutes later, the man returned and dropped something “small and blue” into M.A.’s hand, T.H. told police.
Three other witnesses, including Girten’s girlfriend, confirmed T.H.’s account of what took place on the night of M.A.’s death, the affidavit stated. One witness told police that M.A. said he only took half of one pill he purchased from Girten.
On Feb. 27, an autopsy ruled M.A.’s death accidental and attributed it to complications from combined cocaine and fentanyl toxicity.
Police obtained a search warrant for Girten’s Facebook account and found information regarding his activities purchasing and distributing controlled substances. Court records showed Girten regularly spoke with M.A. about arranging drug transactions.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Forwood filed a request with the court to detain Girten until trial due to the drug offense, the “serious risk” he would flee and the serious risk of obstruction of justice.
It was not clear from court records when Girten’s preliminary hearing will be held.