HCSO announces first case where someone was arrested for distribution of fentanyl leading to death

HCSO, U.S. Attorney fighting opioid crisis
Posted at 6:29 PM, Jun 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-12 02:47:52-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. -- The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office and the U.S. Attorney have joined forces to fight the growing opioid crisis in the county.

They are sending a very strong message to all drug dealers.

"You deal, they die... you are responsible,” Sheriff’s Chad Chronister.

They already arrested three people since they started this fight. The investigation started last November after a 46-year-old man named Bradley Dykes died from a Fentanyl overdose.

Undercover investigators were able to determine that 22-year-old Corey Smith Jr. sold Dykes the drugs. They arrested him for his death. Smith is the first person in the county to face federal charges for selling a deadly dose of fentanyl.

Deputies also arrested Jeffery Rodriguez and Donald Calvin Hatch Jr. on federal and state drug charges.

Dykes' mother was at the news conference and spoke about her son. She said he had a long battle with drugs, and tried several times to turn his life around. She said she forgives Smith for selling him the fentanyl.

"Because I feel bad for him and his mother,” Louieta Hargans said. “I doubt he set out to kill somebody that day. But he would have to take responsibility for his actions."

Smith and Rodriguez are both facing life in prison. Hatch is facing 30 years.