A 43-year-old man from Michigan was sentenced on Monday to 30 years in prison, after being found guilty of not only distributing drugs that caused the death of a young war veteran who had served in Afghanistan but also burning his body in an attempt to destroy evidence.

Damiane Buehrer, from North Adams, Michigan, was sentenced to 3 decades for distributing a lethal dose of carfentanil, a synthetic opioid, to Tyler Herendeen, a 30-year-old honorably-discharged member of the Michigan Army National Guard, who had served in the war in Afghanistan.

"The death of Tyler Herendeen resulted from a tragic series of events brought about by Mr. Buehrer's callous disregard for the lives of those to whom he gave drugs," said David G. Nanz, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan, said in a statement.

Trying To Destroy Evidence

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Drugs (Representational Picture) Wikimedia Commons

According to court documents, Somerset Township firefighters responded to a 911 call on the evening of 11 January 2017. The call had reported a blaze that had consumed a Ford Escape entirely at a remote part of the remote section of Voorheis Rd. in Hillsdale County. Following the extinguishing of the fire, the respondents made a startling discovery—a body burnt beyond recognition in the trunk of the car. Using dental records, the remains were subsequently identified to be that of Herendeen.

Further investigation revealed that the cause of death was the consumption of a highly potent synthetic opioid, carfentanil. The presence of the dangerous opioid has seen a rise in the mixtures of heroin. After being indicted in April 2019, the peddler had pleaded guilty in July 2020 to have given the toxic drug to Herendeen. He also admitted to burning the young veteran's body following his drug-led death in a bid to destroy evidence.

"Hopefully, the conviction and sentence in this case will provide Tyler's family and friends with the comfort of knowing that justice was done, that Buehrer is out of circulation for decades to come, and that no one else will suffer the same fate as Tyler because of him," stated US Attorney Andrew Birge.

Already Serving Another Sentence

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Fire (Representational Picture) PxHere

The prison term for the current case is not the only sentence that Buehrer will have to serve. In October 2018, he was sentenced to 48 months in prison for the offense of dog-fighting, while the investigation into Herendeen's death was ongoing. Buehrer will begin serving his 30-year sentence for Herendeen's demise after completing his prison term for the dog-fighting offense.

"Today will hopefully provide some small amount of closure to the Herendeen family, as well as all who knew and cared about Tyler. After many years of destructive behavior, Damiane Buehrer will no longer be a danger to the Hillsdale community," said David Stamler, Detective Sergeant, Michigan State Police, Jackson Post.