Florida Fentanyl Dealer Sentenced To Prison As Nation Faces Drug Overdose ‘Catastrophe’
Illegal fentanyl is safely handled and contained.
Credit: Darwin Brandis.

A 37-year-old Florida man has been sentenced to prison for 13 years for possession and intention of dealing fentanyl.

Bobby Louis Lesane, Jr, received a sentence of 13 years in prison for having and planning on dealing fentanyl after pleading guilty in September. A  drug sniffing dog led the police to find narcotics in his car during a traffic stop. 

“When officers searched Lesane’s car, they located a small hidden area underneath the driver’s floorboard that contained several bags of drugs, including more than 20 grams of a substance containing fentanyl,” authorities for the Middle District of Florida noted. 

The more than a decade long prison sentence comes as fentanyl overdoses became the leading cause of death in 2020 for those between the ages of 18 and 45. 

“This is a national emergency. America’s young adults — thousands of unsuspecting Americans — are being poisoned,” stated James Rauh of Families Against Fentanyl. “It is widely known that illicit fentanyl is driving the massive spike in drug-related deaths. A new approach to this catastrophe is needed.”

Families against Fentanyl argues that the drug should be classified as a “WMD” and claims that a large amount of the illicit fentanyl that is in America originates outside of the country. 

Customs and Border Protection often seize large amounts of fentanyl at the U.S. Southern Border. On Wednesday, the agency announced that they had stopped the transportation over the border of a cocaine and fentanyl-laced gift-wrapped brick worth up to $80,000 dollars. 

The seizure happened during a vehicle inspection at the Big Bend Sector near Sierra Blanca, Texas. Three U.S. citizens were arrested for narcotics smuggling after a Border Patrol dog smelled something suspicious in their vehicle. 

“Agents searched the vehicle and discovered a clear plastic bag containing marijuana,” the agency noted. “A further search of the vehicle revealed Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) oil-laced edibles and a vacuum sealed white powdery brick that tested positive for cocaine and fentanyl.”

One state that has seen fentanyl seizures double since 2020 is Ohio, where police have already confiscated more than $40 million of drugs, including 187 pounds of fentanyl. At least one authority believes that much of this fentanyl has been coming directly from Mexico. 

“That’s concerning because they’re skipping the middle man and coming directly to the Valley, and that’s what we’ve seen as a seizure increase within the Mahoning Valley,” said Larry McLaughlin, in charge of the Mahoning Valley Drug Task Force. 

Some in Congress have attempted to stop illicit fentanyl coming from China and Mexico. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) hoped to cut off foreign aid going to countries with lax fentanyl laws through an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act.

“Nations where fentanyl traffickers and producers operate freely, are on notice: help stop the illegal flow of fentanyl into our country or face consequences for your complicity in the opioid crisis,” Toomey stated. “After losing far too many Americans to fentanyl and other opioids, it is beyond time we hold countries accountable for allowing fentanyl to be produced and exported to the U.S.”