TAMPA, FL - April 14, 2020 - According to an online news report posted on Patch.com, A 30-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman from Tampa, Florida were arrested and charged with the crime of "conspiracy to distribute" a life-threatening combination of fentanyl and heroin which may have resulted in the death of at least two individuals.
On April 13, 2020, United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez reported that the criminal complaint and arrest report was unsealed and made public. In the criminal complaint, the 26-year-old woman from Tampa was charged with possession with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to distribute a deadly drug that blended both heroin and fentanyl. If the woman is convicted, she faces up to life in prison.
The criminal complaint alleges that the Tampa woman had dealt the drug mixture to an individual who injected the drugs and died as a result. The County Medical Examiner's Office in Hillsborough County, Florida, determined that a mixture of fentanyl, heroin with an oxycodone intoxication was the cause of death. The criminal complaint also alleges that the Tampa woman continued to sell the fentanyl/heroin compound to drug users in Tampa Bay, Florida.
United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez filed a similar criminal complaint against a 30-year-old man from Tampa in November. He was charged with possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute the same deadly substance containing both heroin and fentanyl. If the Tampa man is convicted, he could receive a maximum penalty of life in prison. The criminal complaint stated that the Tampa man sold an individual a mixture of drugs, including fentanyl and that the individual passed away as a result of consuming the drug cocktail. The medical examiner's office stated that the victim's death was the result of the combination of methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl.
These two drug cases are part of an anti-opioid strategy orchestrated by the Middle District of Florida to fight the opioid epidemic and stop opioid abuse and drug trafficking. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office stated that their office was investigating the two defendants in a joint partnership with Homeland Security.
Florida Statute 893.135 – Trafficking; Conspiracy to Engage in Trafficking
According to Florida Statute 893.135 – it is a crime for an individual to knowingly purchase, sell, deliver, manufacture, or bring into the State of Florida, or knowingly possess 4 grams or more Fentanyl, as defined in Florida Statute 893.03(2)(b)9. Under Florida Statute 893.135(4)(a)(VII), a mixture containing any substance containing Fentanyl or similar drug commits a first-degree felony known as “trafficking in fentanyl” and if found guilty will receive punishments as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. “Trafficking in fentanyl” is a capital offense in the state of Florida punishable with life in prison.