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Press Release

Rock Hill Man Sentenced To 15 Years in Federal Prison for Role in Fentanyl Pill Distribution

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — Justin De Neko Cunningham, 27, of Rock Hill, has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of fentanyl.

Evidence presented to the court showed that, through an investigation into a major drug trafficking organization, the organization obtained fentanyl and other drugs from a source in California and had the drugs shipped to various addresses in Rock Hill and Charlotte, North Carolina. Members of the organization would then produce counterfeit Roxicodone pills containing fentanyl.  Federal agents learned that Cunningham was responsible for purchasing and selling thousands of these counterfeit pills, fully aware the pills purchased and sold by him were made with fentanyl.  The pills were later sold by Cunningham in Rock Hill, Myrtle Beach, and Charlotte.

United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis sentenced Cunningham to 180 months in federal prison, to be followed by a six-year term of court-ordered supervision.  There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Internal Revenue Service, Rock Hill Police Department, York County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

This sentencing is part of a major Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Assistant United States Attorneys William K. Witherspoon, T. DeWayne Pearson, and Elliott Daniels prosecuted the case.



Derek Shoemake (843) 327-0882

Updated February 1, 2022

Drug Trafficking