VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A drug dealer was sentenced Wednesday in connection with a Deltona mother's overdose in 2017.
Steven Montillo, 33, was indicted on a first-degree murder charge but accepted a plea deal for manslaughter and will serve 15 years in prison. Sheriff Mike Chitwood said while he's disappointed Montillo is no longer facing a life sentence, he still considers this case a win.
"At the end of the day, he was held accountable," Chitwood said.
Montillo has already served more than a year behind bars for drug dealing. Now, he'll be headed to prison for the death of 31-year-old Jacqueline Griggs.
"She purchased heroin from our suspect here, and shortly after she died, Volusia County detectives showed up at the scene and were able to arrange a purchase from him," Chitwood said.
In 2018, a grand jury indicted Montillo for first-degree murder. It's the first time a drug dealer has been charged with murder for an overdose death in Volusia County. The sheriff saidMontillo is one of at least four dealers whom authorities are going after at this moment.
"If you're going to be out there peddling heroin or fentanyl and drugs in our community and somebody dies, we're going to come over to you and we're going to try and nail your (expletive) to the wall," he said.
Griggs' family decided not to show for Montillo's plea deal and sentencing, but Chitwood said he'll continue to work hard to make sure drug dealers will suffer the consequences.
"I wish we could bring closure to everyone who has lost a loved one to this overdose epidemic. We can't. We're coming to get them, and this is an example of that. I wish it was a first-degree murder conviction and sentence, but when it gets into the court system, things happen. We'll take the 15-year sentence," he said.
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