newsdrug dealer in greene albemarle counties sentenced to 20 years in fentanyl death

Drug dealer in Greene, Albemarle counties sentenced to 20 years in fentanyl death

Crystal Graham

department of justice logo 2023A South Hill man who continued dealing heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl from a regional jail, was sentenced this week to 20 years in federal prison.

Michael Watkins Hayer, 41, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty in October 2022 to a two-count Information charging him with distribution of fentanyl resulting in death and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to court documents, Hayer began selling fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine throughout Greene and Albemarle counties in 2019, as well as routinely traveling to North Carolina to purchase drugs for resale in Virginia.

After a customer overdosed in front of him, Hayer began carrying Narcan, an opioid overdose treatment, when he sold drugs, court records said.

On Feb. 18, 2022, Hayer sold fentanyl to an individual who ingested the drug and later died of an overdose.

Although he left Greene County to avoid suspicion after this death occurred, Hayer was stopped by the Virginia State Police while speeding in Greene County in April 2022.

During the traffic stop, Virginia State Police searched Hayer’s vehicle where they discovered 95 grams of methamphetamine, 50 grams of fentanyl, three firearms and multiple rounds of ammunition.

Hayer is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a previous felony conviction.

While incarcerated at the Central Virginia Regional Jail last year from April through June, Hayer continued to sell drugs by recruiting both a male relative as well as an ex-girlfriend and instructing them in how to engage in drug trafficking.

Hayer told them where to go in North Carolina to meet his drug suppliers, as well as where and who to sell drugs to in Greene County.

U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh and Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Richmond Division, made the announcement today. The Greene County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case with assistance from the Virginia State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melanie Smith and Sean Welsh prosecuted the case.


Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.