Vero Beach Man Charged and Detained Pending Trial for Distributing a Fatal Dose of Fentanyl
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida
MIAMI – Yesterday, Keyon Lewis, 26, of Vero Beach, Florida, was ordered detained pending trial by U.S. Magistrate Judge Shaniek Mills Maynard, after a federal grand jury in Fort Pierce, Fla., returned an indictment on July 13 charging Lewis with distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, in violation of Title 21, U.S.C. 841(a).
According to court documents, on November 5, 2021, Lewis allegedly distributed fentanyl to a man in the parking lot of an Applebee’s Restaurant, in Vero Beach. The man was later found dead on the kitchen floor of his residence by his wife. The United States alleges in the indictment that the fentanyl, Lewis distributed to the man, killed him.
After law enforcement arrived and confirmed the man was dead, they used his cellphone to order more fentanyl from Lewis. It is alleged that on November 7, 2021, Lewis, unaware that he was communicating directly with law enforcement, arrived at the decedent’s residence, allegedly bringing additional fentanyl to distribute. Indian River County Sheriff’s Office immediately arrested Lewis.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Even in small doses, fentanyl can be deadly. As little as two milligrams, about the size of 5 grains of salt, can be fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths. Over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The State of Florida has also seen an exponential increase in overdoses associated with fentanyl. In 2020, more than 6,150 people died from overdoses involving fentanyl and fentanyl analogs in Florida.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and Sheriff Eric Flowers of the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office (IRCSO), made the announcement.
DEA Miami and IRCSO investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Porter is prosecuting it.
An indictment contains mere allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
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 at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov under case number 23-cr-14030.
Public Affairs Unit
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida
Updated August 1, 2023