A New Port Richey man was sentenced to life in federal prison Tuesday, nearly five months after he was convicted of charges related to the fatal overdose of a Pasco County man in 2020, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Justin Kelly, 36, distributed fentanyl in the county by having addicts sell the drugs for him, making “thousands of dollars per day,” according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa.
On Nov. 18, 2020, a man identified as “E.L.” was found by his wife in his kitchen, lying face down, the release said. He died from a fentanyl overdose on drugs that were later traced back to Kelly, according to court documents.
Pasco Sheriff’s Office detectives determined that Steven Kinney had sold E.L. the fentanyl that led to his overdose, according to the release, and Kinney told them he got the drugs from Kelly.
Authorities then searched Kelly’s motel room and storage unit, where they found fentanyl, cash, kilogram presses, digital scales and a Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifle, according to the release.
A jury found Kelly guilty on Nov. 16, 2022, of conspiracy to distribute 40 grams of fentanyl, resulting in death, and distribution of fentanyl, resulting in death, prosecutors said.
Kelly also was convicted of charges of possessing and distributing fentanyl and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and sentenced to a concurrent term of 15 years in prison.
According to the news release, Steven Kinney pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possession of fentanyl with the intent to distribute. On Jan. 4, he was sentenced to four years and nine months behind bars.