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CHEYENNE -A Cheyenne man has received 20-year prison sentence for his role in providing the heroin that resulted in the overdose deaths of three people last year, including a young professional bull rider.

U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson on Tuesday sentenced Vernon Violas Ellefson Jr. to 20 years.

Ellefson pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to distribute heroin that resulted in the three overdoses last year in Cheyenne. Among the dead was 21-year-old bull rider Bryan Guthrie.

The investigation into the deaths uncovered a drug-dealing network bringing heroin from Denver to Cheyenne.

Ellefson is one of six men who have pleaded guilty to federal drug charges in the case. A seventh man is awaiting extradition from Canada.

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