Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell today sentenced Irving Cepeda-Chico (39, Kissimmee) to 14 years in federal prison for 12 counts of distribution of controlled substances and 1 count of conspiracy to distribute such substances. Cepeda-Chico had pleaded guilty on November 20, 2020.
According to court documents, Cepeda-Chico was involved in obtaining and distributing heroin and fentanyl-laced heroin in Orlando and elsewhere in central and northern Florida. Audio and video recordings showed Cepeda-Chico selling thousands of dollars of fentanyl-laced heroin on multiple occasions. The audio recordings captured Cepeda-Chico discussing distribution plans, discussing the quality of his product with an international supplier, offloading bad fentanyl and heroin on another distributor, and arranging to pay his supplier through money orders.
During the sentencing hearing, the court found that on one occasion Cepeda-Chico had distributed fentanyl-laced heroin to an individual, M.D., causing M.D.’s fatal overdose in the overnight hours of July 19, 2019. As a result, the court adjusted Cepeda-Chico’s sentence upward to hold him accountable for M.D.’s death.
This case is the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply. This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Osceola County Sherriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Lakeland Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Central Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), and the Medical Examiner’s Office for Districts 9 and 25. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dana E. Hill.