Three Fentanyl Dealers Sentenced To Federal Prison

Three Fentanyl Dealers Sentenced To Federal Prison

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judges Thomas Barber and Virginia Covington have sentenced Marvin “MJ” Mitchell (36, St. Petersburg) to 15 years in federal prison, Christopher Hughes (44, Clearwater) to 8 years in federal prison, and Emma Leifer (26, Clearwater) to 6 years and 6 months in federal prison for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, heroin, and crack cocaine.

According to court documents and evidence presented at sentencing, between April and June 2019, Mitchell rented and operated several rooms at the Express Inn motel in Clearwater. Mitchell then directed his conspirators, Hughes and Leifer, to sell fentanyl, heroin, and crack cocaine out of those rooms around the clock. The sale of these narcotics led to dozens of drug overdoses at the Express Inn and the surrounding area. On June 17, 2019, law enforcement executed search warrants at the Express Inn and discovered fentanyl, heroin, crack cocaine, used syringes, cash, and a drug ledger.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pinellas Park Police Department, with assistance from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and the Pasco and Pinellas County Medical Examiner’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diego F. Novaes.

This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at  

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