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Press Release

Pasco Man Sentenced To Over 21 Years For Trafficking Fentanyl And Possessing Firearms; Forfeits House And More Than $400,000

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

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven has sentenced Edwin Hill, a/k/a “Z” (51, Holiday), to 21 years and 10 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and 1 kilogram or more of heroin, four counts of distribution of fentanyl, possession with the 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. The court also ordered Hill to forfeit his interest in a house in Pasco County that was used in committing the offenses, as well as a handgun. Hill previously agreed to forfeit $400,536 in drug proceeds, three handguns, and assorted ammunition. Hill was arrested on September 27, 2018, and subsequently detained. He pleaded guilty on October 11, 2022.

According to court documents, Hill trafficked fentanyl 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 were made, federal authorities obtained search warrants for both residences and executed them on September 27, 2018. More than a half-kilogram of fentanyl, almost a kilogram of cocaine, five firearms (including two that were reported stolen), and more than $370,000 in cash was recovered from the two houses. During an interview with law enforcement, Hill admitted to drug trafficking, ownership of the seized guns, and that the seized money was the proceeds of drug sales. On September 27, 2018, after agreeing to cooperate with the investigation, Hill secretly, and without informing law enforcement, placed three texts to coconspirator Nelson White, that he had been arrested:

Text 1: D e a

Text 2: Dont come

Text 3: Stop answering the feds got me

Law enforcement 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 more than 21 years in federal prison. A separate coconspirator, William Gaston, was sentenced on July 28, 2020, to 10 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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Baeza.

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 January 12, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses