By Trevor Schakohl
A New Port Richey, Florida, fentanyl trafficker was sentenced to life in prison for distributing a sum of fentanyl that caused one man’s deadly overdose and had the potential to end 40,000 lives, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Addicts sold fentanyl for Justin Kelly in Pasco County, and he supplied 40 grams of the drug to dealer Steve Kinney, who gave it to a married man with stepchildren, the DEA’s press release said. The man ultimately died in November 2020 with his stepchildren sleeping feet away, and police later discovered more fentanyl, a rifle, cash, kilogram presses and scales in searches of Kelly’s motel room and a storage unit.
A person who consumes just 2 milligrams of fentanyl can die depending on how much they weigh, their tolerance level and their usage history, according to the DEA. Synthetic opioid overdoses killed an estimated 71,238 people nationwide in 2021, a more than 20% increase compared to the previous year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
Kinney was sentenced to four years and nine months in federal prison in January after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl, the DEA said. A federal jury convicted Kelly in November of distributing and conspiring to distribute fentanyl resulting in death, and he was also sentenced to 15 years in prison for possession/distribution of fentanyl and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.
In his State of the State address, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called for treating fentanyl dealers “like the murderers that they are.” He pledged in January that the state would make targeting children with fentanyl made to resemble candy an offense carrying a mandatory life prison sentence.
The DEA’s Miami Division did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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