BOONE COUNTY, Ind. —  A Boone County man is in jail tonight charged with dealing drugs resulting in death following a fatal overdose earlier this year.

The investigation began when a woman was found unresponsive inside a home in Advance, Indiana back in February.

Just a few months after giving birth to a baby girl, a woman named Heather Akers passed away from a fentanyl-related overdose.

“This poor lady who died of drug poisoning, she’ll never be able to raise her daughter.  How devastating is that?” said DEA assistant special agent in charge Mike Gannon.

Four months after that death, the Boone County prosecutor charged 27-year-old Zachary Taylor for allegedly causing that death.

Booking photo of Zachary Taylor

Court records detail lengthy text message conversations between the victim and suspect prior to the suspected drug deal.

On March 30, 2023, Taylor was arrested for dealing in methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, dealing in cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of a controlled substance, and 2 counts of possession of paraphernalia. Detectives were also able to gather more information from the arrest in March to connect Taylor to the overdose death in February.

“It’s a lot of work that goes into a case like this. You have to show that person was responsible.  You have to show they were together and hope there were communications,” said Gannon.

In fact, because cases like the one against Taylor can be tough to prove, the Boone County prosecutor confirms this is only the third time his office has filed a charge of dealing resulting in death since the statehouse passed the law allowing drug dealers to be prosecuted in 2018.

“What do those people want?  They want accountability,” said Gannon.  “So it’s important to show that because when they know they can be charged, they’re going to think twice about doing that,” said Gannon.

While the DEA isn’t involved in this case, assistant special agent in charge Gannon said a tiny amount of fentanyl, enough to fit on the tip of a pencil, can be fatal.  That’s why drug dealers need to know there can be consequences for their actions.

“Nobody wins in a situation like this, but it’s about holding drug traffickers who peddle poison in our communities accountable and they don’t care about people.  That’s the bottom line,” said Gannon.

For now, Taylor is being held without bond pending trial in Boone County.