FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A Palm Coast man was given a 15-year prison sentence Tuesday for manslaughter in the opioid overdose death of someone who Flagler County investigators said he sold fentanyl to.
Javian Neesmith, 22, was already being held at the Flagler County jail on an unrelated drug charge when a Grand Jury found probable cause he had supplied Dimitry Popkov, 39, with the fentanyl that killed him in September 2020, according to a Jan. 20, 2021 news release. During those months, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s Special Investigations Unit had been working to link Neesmith to Popkov’s death, ultimately succeeding, deputies said.
Neesmith was initially indicted for first-degree murder by unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, according to the State Attorney’s office.
On Tuesday, Neesmith pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in state prison, deputies said. Neesmith also pleaded no contest to possession of a schedule 4 substance, possession of a schedule 2 substance with intent to sell, driving with a suspended license and unlawful use of a two-way communication device, receiving concurrent four-year sentences for each charge, deputies said.
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said the sentencing should serve as a sign for other fentanyl dealers to avoid his jurisdiction.
“The poison sold to the victim by Neesmith took his life. Let this be a reminder to drug dealers to keep your poison out of Flagler County and know that we investigate every overdose death as a murder! Kill someone selling your poison and you will join him (Neesmith) and other poison peddler killers in prison for a very long time,” Staly said in a statement.