Gainesville man sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking offense


Date: May 7, 2024


Gainesville, FL — Michael Anthony Sheppard of Gainesville, Florida, was sentenced to 96 months in federal prison, following his conviction for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, oxycodone, and marijuana. Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the sentence.

“Our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners work tirelessly to keep us safe by removing addictive and deadly controlled substances from our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Coody. “We remain committed to support their efforts through the investigation and vigorous prosecution of criminals bringing drugs into North Florida. The imposed sentence illustrates the significant consequences of harming our citizens through illicit drug trafficking activities.”

Plea documents reflect that Sheppard, along with co-conspirators, conspired to receive and distribute powder and crack cocaine throughout the Northern District of Florida and elsewhere. Sheppard was also involved in the purchase and illegal resale of prescription oxycodone pills, as well as pound quantities of marijuana. Investigation led to the seizure of nearly two kilograms of powder cocaine, 150 grams of crack cocaine, approximately fifteen pounds of marijuana, and numerous oxycodone pills, along with $16,000 in U.S. currency and approximately $76,000 in jewelry. Sheppard’s prison sentence will be followed by five years of supervised release.

“DEA prioritizes the safety and health of our citizens by relentlessly pursuing those who distribute these destructive and illegal substances in our Florida communities and holding them accountable for their actions,” said DEA Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne Reuter. “This sentence should serve as a warning to those who make the poor choice to distribute illegal drugs in Florida and reaffirms DEA’s commitment to working with our law enforcement partners to keep our communities safe and healthy.”

This conviction was a result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (CI), the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Gainesville Police Department, and Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney David Byron prosecuted the case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multiagency approach.

CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, obtaining a more than a 90 percent federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.