Columbus man arrested for selling, possessing fentanyl

Published 2:55 pm Thursday, October 12, 2023

Charges pending after victim dies of overdose


COLUMBUS— On Saturday, October 7 a Columbus man was arrested for possession of fentanyl after being found with an unresponsive male behind behind the buildings on E. Mills St. in Columbus.

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According to Chief Scott Hamby of the Columbus Police Department, officials arrived at the scene at approximately 4 p.m. and found an unresponsive male lying on the ground with Austin Tyler Ball, 30 of Columbus, in the same vicinity as the victim.

After witnesses showed footage of the two men together behind the building, Ball was arrested and charged with one count of selling a schedule one controlled substance, one count of possession of schedule one substance and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Ball told police that he believed that the drugs discovered by officials were fentanyl.

After arriving at the Polk County Detention Center, officials searched Ball for booking and located additional drugs while inside the facility. Ball then received an additional charge of possession of controlled substances on jail premises.

The victim, who was identified as Nick Baker, 28 of Columbus, was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital and later to Mission Hospital where he passed away due to an overdose.

“After the results come back from the lab to prove that the substance was fentanyl, there will absolutely be more charges forthcoming for the death of Baker,” Chief Hamby said on Thursday “We are most likely looking at death by distribution charges among others.”

Ball is currently being held at the Polk County Detention Center under a $30,000 secured bond.