The case is the second in Flagler County to be prosecuted under a 2017 law allowing drug dealers to be charged with murder for overdose deaths.
A Flagler County grand jury has indicted suspected drug dealer Jevante Hamilton, 25, on a charge of first-degree murder in connection with an August 2019 overdose death.
"We will do everything we can to stop poison peddlers, and if you cause a death, we will do everything we can to put you away in prison for a long time.”
— RICK STALY, Flagler County sheriff
This is the second Flagler County prosecution under a 2017 Florida law allowing drug dealers to be charged with murder if their drug dealing leads to a death. The first such case led last month to a 30-year prison sentence for the dealer.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the death on the morning of Aug. 24, 2019.
A toxicology screening by the medical examiner determined that the 25-year-old victim had died of a fentanyl overdose, and deputies found fentanyl and drug paraphernalia at the scene, according to an FCSO news release.
Text messages on the victim's phone that showed that Hamilton, a Daytona Beach resident, had sold the victim fentanyl, according to an arrest report.
The same day deputies responded to the victim's death and found the phone, FCSO Major Case Unit Detective Agustin Rodriguez used the phone to pose as the decreased victim, sending Hamilton text messages asking for more drugs.
The detective set up a meeting with Hamilton off Hargrove Grade in Palm Coast, and deputies surrounded him when he arrived and arrested him for probation violation and possession of fentanyl with the intent to sell.
Hamilton was at the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility on those charges when the State Attorney’s Office determined there was enough evidence to present the murder charge to a grand jury, according to the news release. The grand jury hearing was delayed because of COVID-19.
“This is the second successful investigation of a drug dealer who caused an overdose death being indicted by a grand jury for murder in Flagler County,” Sheriff Rick Staly said, according to the news release. “Our detectives did a great job and worked with the State Attorney’s Office to take this poison peddler off the streets and put him behind bars before he could cause another death while they were investigating this murder. We will do everything we can to stop poison peddlers, and if you cause a death, we will do everything we can to put you away in prison for a long time.”
Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Dunton will prosecute the case with assistance from Assistant State Attorney Jason Lewis, according to the news release.