Tampa, Florida – Acting United States Attorney Karin Hoppmann announces the return of a superseding indictment charging Marvin “MJ” Mitchell (36, St. Peterburg) and Christopher Hughes (43, Pinellas Park) with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin, crack cocaine, and fentanyl, which caused an individual’s death, as well as possession with the intent to distribute heroin, crack cocaine, and fentanyl. If convicted on all counts, Mitchell and Hughes each face a minimum mandatory sentence of 20 years, and up to life, in federal prison.
According to the indictment, Mitchell and his co-conspirators, including Hughes, sold heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl. In June 2019, members of this conspiracy distributed narcotics to an individual who died. The Medical Examiner’s Office for Pasco and Pinellas Counties determined that the individual’s cause of death was fentanyl toxicity.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty. 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 Examiners’ Offices. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diego F. Novaes.