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Prison

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A convicted heroin dealer already serving a federal prison sentence is accused of dealing fentanyl to a Medina County man who died after overdosing on the drug.

Johnathan Bella, 28, was charged Friday with distributing fentanyl with a sentencing enhancement for causing someone’s death.

Bella was charged via a bill of information, instead of a grand jury, which typically indicates a person is willing to plead guilty to the charges. Court records do not list an attorney for Bella.

The case was assigned to Senior U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver. A court date has not yet been set.

Bella on Feb. 10, 2020 sold the drugs that contained fentanyl and a fentanyl analog to two men only identified in court records by their initials C.P. and Z.B.

C.P. died the next day in Montville Township, according to court records.

Bella is already in federal prison after a judge sentenced him in November to eight years and one month in prison.

In that case, Bella and another man were accused of selling heroin to a confidential informant working for a Westlake police officer working with a federal drug task force.

The duo sold drugs between May 1, 2020 through June 18, 2020 from Bella’s home on Pearl Road and met the informant at various locations, according to court records. During one drug deal, a young child was inside the home.

Authorities raided Bella’s home and found six guns, including two assault rifles.

Bella’s attorney in that case, Jeffrey Lazarus, wrote in court records that Bella had a difficult upbringing that included several violent incidents. He said Bella’s home had been shot up as a child, that someone threw a brick at his face, breaking his jaw, and that in 2017 he was shot in the leg during an argument.

He began taking prescription opioids to recover from the broken jaw and the shooting. Bella became addicted opioids, and despite working as a landscaper, began selling drugs on the side to continue buying pills on the street, his attorney wrote.

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