Press release from U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Jorge Mario Velasquez, 40, of Nayarit, Mexico, was sentenced to 211 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 400 grams or more of fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the sentence.
“Hundreds of individuals are killed every day in communities throughout our country due to the distribution of fentanyl,” said U.S. Attorney Coody. “Each of these deaths is a tragedy, robbing individuals of their promise and crippling families left behind with unimaginable grief. We remain committed to working with our law enforcement partners to identify and aggressively prosecute those who distribute these addictive, controlled substances. This sentence serves as a significant deterrent to drug traffickers and demonstrates our resolve to hold them accountable.”
Velasquez was on State reporting probation at the time of the offense for possession of a controlled substance. The evidence showed that Velasquez, along with co-conspirators, conspired to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl pills and heroin throughout the Northern District of Florida and elsewhere. Investigation led to the seizure of thousands of fentanyl pills, powder heroin, two pistols, and an AR-15-style rifle, along with multiple boxes of ammunition. Velasquez’s prison sentence will be followed by five years of supervised release.
“Synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, are the primary cause of drug overdose and poisoning deaths in our country. The individuals responsible for bringing this poison into our Florida communities will be held accountable for their actions,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter. “The success of this investigation is a direct result of strength of our relationships with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners. The DEA Miami Field Division is dedicated to continuing these partnerships to keep our Florida communities safe and healthy.”
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney David Byron prosecuted the case.
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