Orlando, FL – Senior U.S. District Judge Anne Conway has sentenced Deonte Lee Barber (40, Rockledge) to 11 years and 8 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and distribution of fentanyl. Barber had pleaded guilty on February 3, 2022.
According to court documents and evidence produced at the sentencing hearing, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) utilized a confidential source to make controlled purchases of fentanyl from Barber. In total, Barber distributed 167 grams of fentanyl. During the course of the conspiracy, agents discovered that Barber had supplied C.M. with fentanyl on November 4, 2021, which resulted in C.M.’s death. Police were summoned to C.M.’s home in Rockledge after his mother called 911 crying that she had found her son deceased. Located in close proximity to C.M.’s body were a plastic pen with burnt residue on it and a pink plastic baggie with a brown powdery substance, later determined to be fentanyl. At the sentencing hearing, the Brevard County Associate Medical Examiner testified that C.M. died of an overdose in connection with his ingestion of fentanyl. C.M.’s blood analysis revealed that he had more than double the lethal amount in his system necessary to cause death.
Law enforcement established that Barber was the person who had sold the fentanyl to C.M. Testimony and exhibits showed that Barber communicated with C.M. by text message just prior to his death to arrange the fentanyl sale. Agents also uncovered additional evidence to corroborate that Barber had delivered the fentanyl to C.M. at his home just a few hours before C.M. was found dead. After C.M.’s death became known, Barber notified and warned other customers of the drug’s potency.
On December 2, 2021, DEA agents executed a search warrant at Barber’s storage unit, where he stored his drugs. Agents located drugs, scales, and a large number of pink baggies, identical to the one found next to C.M.’s body.
At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, the judge agreed with the government that Barber’s distribution of fentanyl had caused C.M.’s death and granted the United States’ motion for an enhanced sentence.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Rockledge Police Department, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, the Cocoa Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Beatriz Gonzalez and Michael P. Felicetta.