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Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Drug Charges After Quintet Of Pasco County Jail Inmates Overdose On Fentanyl


After three fentanyl overdoses in two days at the Pasco County Jail, county authorities began an investigation that ended with Federal drug charges against a Holiday inmate.

Deputies say they witnessed one inmate overdosing via closed-circuit surveillance cameras. Another inmate was witnessed by detention deputies stumbling and falling, then vomiting, while a third inmate was discovered gasping for breath in a medical housing unit.

Acting quickly, deputies revived all three individuals with Narcan. They then began an investigation that led them to a 33-year-old inmate who was in custody on a pair of misdemeanors. However, word of the overdoses and subsequent investigation spread quickly, leading the inmate to dispose of his remaining supply of fentanyl.

Two more overdoses occurred before the supply was exhausted, one of which was fatal.

According to deputies, the suspect was arrested in late January for DUI and brought to jail with fentanyl, methamphetamine, and gabapentin lodged in a body cavity. The first three overdoses occurred shortly after his arrest, with the remaining two happening within a week of his booking.

In his plea agreement with Federal prosecutors, the suspect said he is part of a larger drug-trafficking ring that specializes in fentanyl and methamphetamine. He pled guilty in Federal court to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl leading to serious bodily injury. The judge accepted the Boston native's plea, but no sentencing date has yet been set. His guilty plea will assure him at least 20 years in Federal prison, with a life sentence the maximum punishment he may receive upon sentencing.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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