A Fentanyl Supplier Got Life In Prison For A Deadly Overdose. He Could Have Killed Thousands

(Photo by Don EMMERT / AFP) (Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)

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Trevor Schakohl Legal Reporter
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A New Port Richey, Florida, fentanyl trafficker was sentenced to life in prison for conspiring to distribute a sum of fentanyl that caused one man’s deadly overdose and had the potential to end 20,000 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 fentanyl 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(RELATED: Number Of Troops Dying From Fentanyl More Than Doubles)

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - MARCH 13: A homeless man, 24, holds a piece of aluminum foil he used to smoke fentanyl on March 13, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. Widespread drug addiction is endemic in Seattle's large homeless community, which the city is currently trying to move out from shared public spaces. According to a recent report commissioned by Seattle Councilmember Andrew Lewis, the COVID-19 pandemic put undue pressure on the city's shelter system and delayed funds for new housing, leading to an increase in homelessness. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – MARCH 13: A homeless man, 24, holds a piece of aluminum foil he used to smoke fentanyl on March 13, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. John Moore/Getty Images

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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