Russell Co. woman facing felony murder charges for role in Fentanyl distribution

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RUSSELL COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – A woman from the Swords Creek area of Russell County was arrested Tuesday on murder and drug charges.

According to a release from Commonwealth’s Attorney Zack Stoots, Natalie Nicole Ailer, 39, faces two counts of distribution of a Schedule I or II controlled substance and two counts of felony murder.

Ailer’s charges reportedly stem from the deaths of two people in Honaker in July 2021. The release states the individuals died due to “acute Fentanyl intoxication.”

The Russell County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO), along with other authorities and rescue personnel, searched for the deceased individuals. RCSO continues to investigate their deaths as of Tuesday, the release states.

Ailer is being held in the Abingdon Regional Jail without bond, according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. She is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 20.

“The investigative agencies have worked diligently in developing this case,” Stoots said in the release. “This is a tragic loss of life. Fentanyl is an incredibly dangerous drug and even small quantities can be lethal.”

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