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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Lake Worth Resident Convicted of Distributing Fentanyl Resulting in Death

A Palm Beach County resident was convicted yesterday by a jury in United States District Court of unlawfully distributing a controlled substance, Fentanyl, which resulted in the death of a 23 year old man.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge, United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, Ric Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO), and Bryan Kummerlen, Chief, West Palm Beach Police Department (WPBPD), made the announcement.

"This case illustrates that there can be grave consequences that result from the distribution of illegal narcotics,” stated U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer.  “We implore the South Florida community to be aware of the dangers of illicit drugs, particularly given the fact that the number of drug overdoses has increased dramatically in our jurisdiction over the past year.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively prosecute individuals who engage in drug trafficking, especially in cases where the illicit distribution results in the death or serious bodily injury of the user."

“Fentanyl is a deadly drug that kills instantly,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Adolphus Wright.  “DEA, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to aggressively investigate to take such deadly drugs off the streets of our communities.   Massena’s conviction is an example of that effort and commitment to the fullest degree.  Let it be clear, drug dealers selling illegal drugs mixed with Fentanyl will not be tolerated in any way.”

Christopher Sharod Massena, 24, of Palm Beach County, was convicted at trial of a single count of distribution of fentanyl, resulting in death.  For this charge of conviction, Massena faces a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment up to a maximum term of life imprisonment, to be followed by a mandatory minimum term of 3 years of supervised release.  Previously, on August 1, 2016, Massena pled guilty to the other charges in the superseding indictment, specifically four counts of distributing a controlled substance containing heroin and a single count of possessing with the intent to distribute a controlled substance containing heroin.  Massena faces a statutory sentence of up to 20 years in prison, to be followed by a mandatory minimum term of three years of supervised release, for each count to which he pled guilty.

According to the court record, including evidence introduced at trial, on February 18, 2016, Massena distributed Fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, to a 23 year old man.  The man died of acute Fentanyl toxicity shortly after ingesting the controlled substance.  Thereafter, on four separate dates Massena distributed other controlled substance (heroin and heroin mixed with Fetanyl) to an undercover police officer.  On the date of his arrest, Massena possessed with the intent to distribute heroin.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the DEA, PBSO, WPBPD, and the Palm Beach Narcotics Task Force for their assistance in this matter. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer C. Nucci.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated August 11, 2016