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Press Release

Lake County Man Convicted Of Distributing Fentanyl Resulting In Death

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Ocala, Florida –United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that a federal jury has found Jermaine Lamar Harvard (41, Lake County) guilty of distributing fentanyl resulting in the death of another. Harvard faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 20 years, and up to life, in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 15, 2023.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, in October 2019, Harvard distributed a quantity of fentanyl to the victim, M.R. An analysis of the victim’s cellphone revealed that Harvard had set up multiple drug transactions with the victim. These drugs led directly to the victim’s death. Harvard represented that the substance was heroin. A medical examiner subsequently determined that the victim had died of acute fentanyl toxicity.

Harvard has prior state convictions for the sale of cocaine in 2013.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William S. Hamilton and Hannah J. Nowalk.

Updated February 24, 2023