TRAVERSE CITY, MI – A husband and wife from Traverse City are facing felony charges for allegedly delivering fentanyl that resulted in an overdose death earlier this year.

Chad Friess, 30, and Shawna Butler, 34, were both arrested on Wednesday, May 26. Friess, a habitual offender, is charged with one count of delivery of controlled substance (fentanyl) causing death. Butler is charged with one count of aid and abet delivery of controlled substance (fentanyl) causing death. Both charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison, or any number of years.

The Traverse Narcotics Team was alerted by the Benzie County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 20 of a suspected drug overdose at a residence in Lake Ann. The victim was transported to Munson Hospital in Traverse City where he died due to the toxicity of the drugs in his system.

Narcotics team detectives gathered evidence at the scene and conducted several search warrants for records during the following months. They identified Friess and Butler as suspects believed to have delivered fentanyl to the victim in Wexford County.

The Wexford County Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants for Friess and Butler on May 26, and they were both immediately arrested.

Friess and Butler were arraigned on charges on Thursday, May 27, in the 84th District Court. Friess’ bond was set at $50,000 and Butler’s was set at $25,000.


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