Man Faces Charge of Distributing Fatal Dose of Fentanyl
A Vero Beach man is facing charges of distributing a fatal dose of fentanyl to another man. According to authorities, the victim purchased the fentanyl in a parking lot. He later collapsed and died after ingesting the fentanyl. Police used the victim’s cellphone to set up another deal and it was then that they arrested a 26-year-old man who is alleged to have sold the defendant fentanyl. The defendant is charged with distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, and possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl.
Federal authorities crack down on fentanyl distribution
Fentanyl is considered the deadliest of all the opioids. It is up to 50 times more potent than heroin. Smaller doses yield higher rewards. This also makes it cheaper to traffic. As little as 2 milligrams can be enough to cause an overdose.
In February of 2023, Congress produced a bill that would make it felony murder to distribute a lethal dose of fentanyl to a customer. The federal government has filed dozens of new cases against drug dealers who traffic in fentanyl. Every day you can find a new article on the Justice Department’s web page related to fentanyl trafficking. Many of these cases are the result of fatalities. In other words, the federal lawsuits allege that the alleged drug dealer sold a customer a fatal dose of fentanyl.
In one case, a single dealer was tied to 3 fentanyl deaths after selling the substance over the dark web. The extremely potent opioid causes an estimated 70,000 deaths per year. According to law enforcement, accessibility is one of the driving factors of fentanyl overdoses. Deals made over social media make every neighborhood an open-air drug market. In many cases, the users don’t realize that’s what they’re buying. The DEA attributes this to deceptive marketing tactics.
Drug dealers often operate on the dark web to sell fentanyl using encrypted chats and decentralized currency like Bitcoin to make deals.
Penalties for distribution of fentanyl resulting in death
The State of Florida has some of the harshest penalties for drug dealers who illegally make drugs available to the public. These penalties are redoubled when the customer dies of an overdose. Law enforcement will attempt to track the sale back to the dealer. In Florida, defendants can be charged with first-degree murder. Under federal statutes, a defendant may face life in prison for providing a lethal dose of fentanyl to a customer. A conviction under the statute requires the court to impose a minimum sentence of 20 years for any victim of a fentanyl overdose. Many fentanyl dealers face multiple counts of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death.
Talk to a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Today
The Matassini Law Firm represents the interests of defendants facing federal charges. Call our Tampa criminal lawyers today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin preparing a vigorous defense on your behalf.