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Press Release

Pasco Man Pleads Guilty To Trafficking Fentanyl And Possessing Five Firearms In Furtherance Of Drug Trafficking; Agrees To Forfeit House And Over $400,000

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

Tampa, FL – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Edwin Hill (51, Holiday), a/k/a “Z,” has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and 1 kilogram or more of heroin, four counts of distribution of fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and 500 grams or more of cocaine, and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. Hill faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years, and up to life, in federal prison, and is subject to enhanced minimum penalties due to a prior conviction for attempted first-degree murder. He has agreed to forfeit his interest in a house in Pasco County that was used in the offense, approximately $400,536 in drug proceeds, three handguns, and assorted ammunition. Hill was arrested on September 27, 2018, where he has remained in custody. The charges and penalties for each offense are as follows:





Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute 1 Kilogram or More of Heroin and 400 Grams or More of Fentanyl

Mandatory minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment up to a maximum term of life imprisonment


Distribution of Fentanyl

Maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment


Distribution of Fentanyl

Maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment


Distribution of Fentanyl

Maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment


Distribution of Fentanyl

Maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment


Possession of 400 Grams or More of Fentanyl and 500 Grams or More of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

Mandatory minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment up to a maximum term of life imprisonment


Possession of Firearms in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking

Mandatory minimum of 5 years’ imprisonment to be served consecutively to the drug counts

According to court documents, Hill trafficked fentanyl in in Pasco County. He used a residence in New Port Richey for distributing the drugs and his personal residence in Holiday for storing the controlled substances, cash, and firearms. After four controlled purchases of fentanyl from Hill, federal authorities obtained search warrants for both residences and executed them on September 27, 2018. During the execution of the search warrants of the two houses, agents recovered more than a half-kilogram of fentanyl, almost a kilogram of cocaine, five firearms – including two that had been reported stolen – and more than $370,000 in cash. During an interview with law enforcement, Hill admitted to his involvement in drug trafficking, ownership of the seized guns, and that the money was the result of drug proceeds.     

After agreeing to cooperate with law enforcement, Hill secretly, and without informing law enforcement, sent three text messages to coconspirator Nelson White letting him know that Hill had been arrested:

Text 1: D e a

Text 2: Dont come

Text 3: Stop answering the feds got me

Law enforcement officers observed White leave his residence after a bag was loaded into his car. A deputy from the Pasco Sheriff’s Office pulled over White’s car for a traffic violation and found approximately an additional pound of fentanyl, almost a half-kilogram of cocaine, more than $29,000 in cash, four additional firearms, and assorted ammunition.

White was convicted of conspiracy and sentenced on December 1, 2020, to over 21 years in federal prison.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office, the Plant City Police Department, and the Winter Haven Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Baeza. Assistant United States Attorney James Muench is handling the forfeiture.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated October 18, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses