ZANESVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) — In a press release, Muskingum County Prosecutor Ron Welch stated that a second Zanesville man pleaded guilty in Common Pleas Court Monday to charges related to a mass overdose earlier this year.

Chad Kennedy, 24, pleaded guilty to one second-degree felony count of corrupting another with drugs after helping his co-defendant, Garland Lewis, sell dangerous narcotics to children.

On April 16, 2022, Muskingum County Deputies and EMT’s responded to the South Zanesville area for a mass-overdose involving three juveniles and two young adults. Fortunately, all victims survived the overdose situation. Tests later confirmed that each of the five individuals had overdosed on fentanyl. Each also tested positive for cocaine.

Following Det. Brad Shawger’s investigation, the Muskingum County Grand Jury returned an indictment against Kennedy and Lewis, 22, reflecting five counts of corrupting another with drugs, by means of causing serious physical harm; three counts of corrupting another with drugs, by means of furnishing drugs to a child; and two counts of trafficking in drugs, fentanyl and cocaine. Both individuals pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

The crime of corrupting another with drugs, in both of the ways charged in this case, is a felony of the second degree, which carries a mandatory prison sentence. When an offense has a mandatory sentence, that means both that upon conviction the court must sentence the convicted person to prison and that the person must serve every single day of the sentence, without any type of reduction.

The Court heard last week about Lewis’ repeated sales to the 16-year-old child victim from his home at 613 Baker Street and the ultimate transaction which occurred at the Lazy River Lounge on SR 555.

The charges in this case highlight that, under the Ohio Revised Code, any person who sells or provides drugs that are given to children faces a mandatory prison sentence. Just as any person who sells or provides drugs which cause a person to overdose faces a mandatory prison sentence. The prosecutor said that Muskingum County law enforcement is amongst the most aggressive in the state in pursuing charges of this type.

Lewis faces up to 40 years of incarceration at his sentencing while Kennedy faces up to eight years of mandatory prison time.