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Dealer whose fentanyl killed North Charleston teen gets 24 years in federal prison

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Brian Dale Lee

Brian Dale Lee, 40, was sentenced to 24 years in federal prison in a drug case. He was linked to the sale of a drug that led to the death of a North Charleston teen. Provided/Charleston County Sheriff's Office

A Lowcountry drug dealer whose product killed a North Charleston 17-year-old was sentenced to more than 24 years in federal prison.

Brian Dale Lee, 40, was arrested in January 2018 with a collection of methamphetamine, heroin and cash.

Investigators connected him to a drug sale that took place four months prior and ended in Sebastian Cohen's death.

A week after Cohen's release from a rehabilitation facility, his mother Lisa Cohen traded jewelry to Lee in exchange for what she thought was heroin and meth, according to court documents.

The Charleston area man warned her that the drugs came from a strong batch that had led another person to overdose, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. She took them home anyway, where her brother and son used them.

Cohen called first responders to their home when she heard her son call her name, then found him unconscious, according to court documents. He was pronounced dead at the scene from an overdose of fentanyl, and also had methamphetamine in his system.

In September 2019 Lisa Cohen was sentenced to 12 years in prison, and her brother Natale Colitte was sentenced to eight years.

Lee's sentence behind bars is for 24 years and five months, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel decided, followed by another decade of supervised release.

Lee pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, as well as to distributing heroin and methamphetamine.

Authorities said he'd distributed meth and heroin throughout Charleston before, making regular trips to Atlanta to gather the product.

The dozens of charges he's faced in the past include drug felonies in North Charleston, Hanahan, Charleston County and Berkeley County.

Reach Sara Coello at 843-937-5705 and follow her on Twitter @smlcoello.

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