Safety Harbor Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison
Distributed Fentanyl Causing Death to One Individual and Serious Injury to Another
TAMPA, Fla. – David Burkes (52, Safety Harbor) was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for distributing narcotics, resulting in death to one individual and seriously bodily injury to another. Burkes had pleaded guilty on April 21, 2021.
According to the plea agreement, beginning on Aug. 12, 2019, Burkes distributed fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl to two individuals (J.B. and B.G.). Both individuals snorted the substance, lost control of the vehicle they had been driving, and overdosed in a parking lot. Medical personnel responded to the scene and successfully revived B.G. The second individual (J.B.) died.
Between Aug. 13 and 15, 2019, after the fatal overdose, Burkes continued to distribute narcotics, this time to undercover officers. The substances he distributed to the officers tested positive for fentanyl.
On Aug. 25, 2019, Burkes was arrested by deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. The following day, agents executed a federal search warrant on Burke’s residence and car. The agents recovered methamphetamines, fentanyl, cocaine, and items used for packaging and distributing narcotics.
The Medical Examiner’s Office for Pasco and Pinellas Counties determined that the deceased individual’s cause of death was fentanyl toxicity.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Tampa District Office and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. 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 https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.