Wichita man sentenced for trafficking fentanyl


Date: April 1, 2024

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Wichita, KS — A Kansas man was sentenced to 180 months in prison for trafficking fentanyl.

Devonte Smith of Wichita pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

According to court documents, in April 2023, Smith and a co-defendant traveled by plane from Wichita to Arizona, to purchase fentanyl-laced pills, which they arranged to bring back to Kansas. In his plea agreement, Smith admitted he flew back to Wichita and directed a co-defendant to return to Kansas with the pills, which were seized by law enforcement in a car driven by a second co-defendant.

Law enforcement’s car stop occurred in Pratt, Kansas, resulting in the discovery of more than 100,000 pills which tests confirmed were fentanyl-laced.

Criminal charges against the co-defendants are pending within the court system.

The IRS Criminal Investigation (CI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Wichita Police Department, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Deb Barnett and Ola Odeyemi prosecuted the case.

This operation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multiagency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

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.