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Safety Harbor man sentenced to 20 years for distributing fentanyl, causing death and serious injury

The man is accused of distributed narcotics to undercover officers.
Credit: tiero - stock.adobe.com

TAMPA, Fla — A Safety Harbor man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for distributing narcotics, resulting in the death of one person and serious bodily injury to another, according to U.S. District Judge William Jung.

David Burkes pleaded guilty April 21, 2021. 

Dating back to Aug. 12, 2019, Burkes distributed fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl to two people, according to a plea agreement. Both of these people snorted the substance, lost control of the vehicle they had been driving and overdosed in a parking lot, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

Medical authorities responded to the scene and successfully revived one of the people who snorted the substance. However, the second person died, authorities say.

The medical examiner’s Office for Pasco and Pinellas counties determined that the cause of death for one of the people was fentanyl toxicity.

Between Aug. 13 and Aug. 15, 2019, after the fatal overdose, Burkes continued to distribute narcotics, the AG's Office reports, this time to undercover officers. The substances he distributed to the officers tested positive for fentanyl.

Deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office arrested Burkes on Aug. 25, 2019. The next day, agents executed a federal search warrant on Burke's home and car and recovered methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine and items used for packaging and distributing narcotics.