An Auburn woman stands accused of assisting in the attempted sale of 15 bags of heroin to undercover deputies in December, the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Wednesday.

Christina M. Deuel, 39, was charged on Feb. 28 with attempted third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. She was released on her own recognizance after her arraignment in Auburn City Court.

Deputies said Wednesday that Deuel, of 10 Washington St., had assisted 31-year-old Brandon A. Dutcher in his attempt to sell the heroin to undercover officers on Dec. 8 in the area of Orchard Street in Auburn. Lieutenant Brian Schenck with the sheriff's office said Deuel spoke with undercover officers via telephone to help arrange the sale.

During the transaction, Dutcher ran away but was detained after a pursuit, deputies said. Schenck said Dutcher fled about 350 yards before he was detained.

The Auburn man was initially charged with second-degree obstructing governmental administration, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana and resisting arrest. The investigation is now closed, Schenck said.

Dutcher was found in possession of quantities of fentanyl, a synthetic opiate, deputies said. Deuel, meanwhile, was arrested after further investigation, though deputies could not disclose what was involved in the probe.

Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann said earlier this month that a near-fatal overdose incident prompted an investigation into Dutcher. Budelmann's comments came at the time Dutcher, of 67 Perrine St., pleaded guilty to the attempted sale charge on Feb. 2.

He is facing 2.5 years in prison with two years of post-release supervision. The proposed sentence also includes an order for shock camp drug rehabilitation.

Staff writer Greg Mason can be reached at (315) 282-2239 or greg.mason@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @CitizenMason.

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