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Federal jury finds drug dealer guilty in Clay County overdose death

Trumaine Muller, 34, faces maximum sentence of life in federal prison

Booking photo of Trumaine Muller
Booking photo of Trumaine Muller

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An Orange Park man was convicted Wednesday in federal court on one count of distributing fentanyl that resulted in the 2016 overdose death of an 18-year-old in Clay County, the State Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Judicial Circuit announced Thursday. 

A federal jury also found Trumaine "Lucky" Muller guilty of one count of distribution of heroin and furanylfentanyl, one count of possessing with the intent to distribute cocaine and furanylfentanyl and one count of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

Muller, 34, faces a maximum penalty in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is set for May 6. 

Investigators said Muller was indicted May 15, 2017, by the state on a charge of first-degree murder for selling the drugs that killed Ariell Jade Brundige, who died of an overdose in November 2016.

Muller was indicted May 10, 2018, on federal charges. The state murder charge was dropped against Muller as the case moved to federal court. 

According to evidence presented at trial, the night of Nov. 9, 2016, Brundige; Tyler Hamilton, her boyfriend; and Christopher Williams traveled together to an Orange Park apartment complex to buy $40 worth of heroin from Muller, a drug dealer. 

Several hours after they left Muller's apartment with what they believed to be heroin, which was actually fentanyl, according to prosecutors, Brunidge later died in the early-morning hours of Nov. 10, 2016. 

Toxicology results showed Brundige had well over the lethal amount of fentanyl in her system. Fentanyl can be up to 50 times more potent than heroin.

Hamilton, 28, and Williams, 33, were charged with manslaughter in the case. They pleaded guilty Feb. 21, 2018, in state court. 

This case was investigated by the State Attorney’s Office and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

Muller previously served a one-year sentence from 2011-12 on a drug dealing conviction out of Duval County.

About the Author:

Jacksonville native and proud University of Florida graduate who joined News4Jax in March 2016.