PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of Covid-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us in-person, via telephone, or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.

Tampa 813-345-4909 | En Español 813-390-2494
Orlando / Miami / West Palm Beach - 888-496-5916

Florida man is first to face federal charges over fentanyl death

Federal prosecutors have charged a 22-year-old Florida man with distribution of fentanyl resulting in death. It is the first time in U.S. history that a defendant has faced federal charges over a fentanyl fatality.

In November 2017, Hillsborough County deputies were dispatched to the scene of a reported opioid overdose and found an unresponsive male victim. Paramedics made several attempts to revive the victim with Narcan, but he died. An autopsy later revealed that his cause of death was a fentanyl overdose.

Over the course of the investigation, detectives discovered that the victim bought the fentanyl from the defendant. He apparently believed he was purchasing heroin, but authorities claim the defendant knowingly sold him fentanyl, which is much more potent, instead. If convicted, the defendant faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Detectives also arrested two other male defendants, ages 27 and 33, as a result of the investigation. The 33-year-old has been charged with five counts of distribution of heroin and fentanyl. He could be sentenced to life in prison. On June 6, the 27-year-old pleaded guilty to distribution of heroin and fentanyl, which will mean up to 30 years in jail.

Federal, state and local authorities are cracking down on fentanyl distribution. As a result, an individual facing fentanyl-related drug charges may benefit from contacting a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Legal counsel could be present during police questioning and make sure a defendant's rights are protected at all times. An attorney could also dissect the prosecution's evidence and develop defense strategies to counter the allegations. In cases where the evidence is strong, legal counsel could arrange a plea deal that allows the defendant to plead guilty to reduced charges.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Mark J. O'Brien's cases have been featured in:
The New York Times | The Miami Herald | Bay News 9 | abc 7 | The Boston Globe | USA Today | Tampa Bay Times | FOX News Channel | The Washington Post | abc Good Morning America | Chicago Tribune | NT News Talk Florida | St. Petersburg Times | Deadspin
“Mark, thank you for everything. I will forever be indebted to you. You have stood by me and believed in me when it was not the popular thing to do. You are an amazing advocate.” Adam Filthaut
  • Former Partner at the Law Firm of Adams and Diaco (Robert Adams and Stephen Diaco)
  • MJ (Todd Schnitt) Morning Show/Bubba the Love Sponge Clem Trial
  • Attorney Phil Campbell DUI Setup/Florida Bar Trial
More Testimonials
American Association for Justice National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers | NACDL 1958 Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers | FACDL Super Lawyers AVVO | See Reviews LC | Lead Counsel Rated
Best Criminal
Defense Lawyers
in Orlando