Drug dealer in Midland sentenced to 23 years

MIDLAND (AP) — A West Texas drug dealer must serve 23 years in federal prison for the death of a woman who hid methamphetamine by swallowing it and died in custody.

Zane Paul O’Neal was sentenced Thursday in Midland. The 23-year-old O’Neal in October pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine that resulted in foreseeable death.

O’Neal last July was driving during a traffic stop leading to the arrest of Sandy Brooke Franklin on an outstanding warrant. Court records say Franklin later got sick while in the Midland County Jail and told officers that she swallowed methamphetamine. She died at a hospital.

Prosecutors say O’Neal, during the stop, gave methamphetamine to Franklin to hide. She called O’Neal from jail to say she did what he asked and ate the drugs.

O’Neal didn’t tell anyone.


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