Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Barber has sentenced Leslie Pagan (40, Tampa) to 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl and distribution of heroin and fentanyl resulting in death. The court also ordered Pagan to forfeit $105,932, which are traceable to proceeds of the offense. A federal jury had found her guilty on March 24, 2021.
According to testimony presented at trial, Pagan supplied coconspirators with heroin and fentanyl that was distributed in Hillsborough County. On December 19, 2019, a Tampa woman obtained a substance containing fentanyl from one of Pagan’s distributors, Jackylin Bonifacio. The victim used the fentanyl and shortly thereafter she collapsed and died.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office investigated the overdose death and identified Bonifacio as the person who had distributed the fentanyl to the victim. On December 20, 2019, Bonifacio was arrested and had 25 baggies of fentanyl, packaged for distribution in her possession.
The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy and determined that the victim had died from ingestion of substances, including heroin and fentanyl. Baggies recovered from Bonifacio and residue from a syringe found near the victim at the time of the overdose were analyzed and identified to contain fentanyl. Lab analysis also determined that the fentanyl mixtures were all very similar and, based on the circumstances of the death and the toxicology from the autopsy, the victim’s use of the fentanyl caused the victim’s death.
A joint investigation led by the FBI identified Pagan as Bonifacio’s supplier. During a series of covert operations, Pagan distributed fentanyl and heroin to a confidential informant and received payments from that informant. Pagan was arrested on September 1, 2020, and investigators recovered 97 grams of fentanyl and more than $105,000 from her residence.
On February 12, 2021, Bonifacio pleaded guilty to distribution of heroin and fentanyl, resulting in death. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 31, 2021.
This investigation is the result of a partnership between the United States Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Sinacore.
This investigation is the result of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) program. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.