TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa man was sent to federal prison Tuesday for distributing fentanyl and methamphetamine, the Department of Justice said.
U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew sentenced 36-year-old Derrick Hutchins to 15 years and 8 months behind bars.
Hutchins had pleaded guilty to related charges on Oct. 13, 2021.
Back in April 2020, prosecutors said Hutchins distributed fentanyl to somebody who fatally overdosed. A month later, investigators say he was caught distributing it to a confidential law enforcement source.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrested Hutchins on state trafficking charges. But, prosecutors say he bonded out of jail and caused another deadly fentanyl overdose less than two months later, leading to the most recent court case.
“Our country is currently in the midst of a crippling opioid epidemic, and every loss of life is devastating to our communities,” DEA Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter wrote in a statement. “The Miami Field Division remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners to bring drug dealers like Derrick Hutchins to justice and keep our Florida communities safe and healthy.”
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration worked together on the case, along with the county medical examiner's office.
The DOJ described Hutchins as a "ten-time convicted felon."