Cedric O. Valentine, 45, of Fort Walton Beach was sentenced May 28 to a 20-year mandatory minimum term in federal prison, following his conviction on multiple charges related to possession and distribution of methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin and marijuana, as well as possession of firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking.
Valentine’s sentence was the result of a federal jury returning a guilty verdict on February 25, 2021, finding Valentine guilty of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture of methamphetamine; 40 grams or more of mixture of fentanyl; 100 grams or more of mixture of heroin; and marijuana; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime; and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. The evidence introduced at trial included evidence seized during a search of Valentine’s residence on May 15, 2020, which included 335 grams of a mixture of fentanyl and heroin, 991 grams of methamphetamine, 792 grams of marijuana, 2 grams of cocaine, and 5 grams of hydrocodone. In addition, DEA agents and investigators with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office seized $24,796 in cash, along with two loaded handguns, an AR-15 style rifle, and a loaded extended magazine for the AR-15 style rifle.
“Valentine is well known to law enforcement agencies in North Florida as a dangerous career criminal,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Coody. “Thanks to the outstanding investigative work of our partners at the DEA, ATF, and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, our skilled team of prosecutors and support staff proved this case beyond a reasonable doubt. This violent armed drug trafficker has been called to account for his criminal conduct, and the citizens of our District are now safer.”
“A collaborative effort between all of our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners shut down this distributor of extremely dangerous narcotics in Northern Florida.” said DEA’s Miami Field Division Acting Special Agent in Charge La Verne Hibbert. “We will continue to focus our collective resources against any individual that threatens the well-being and safety of our communities.”
“When you see the results of that search warrant, it’s clear this case is a prime illustration of the effectiveness of our local, state, and federal law enforcement partnerships to shut down major drug dealing operations that threaten not only our citizens’ health and safety, but their quality of life as well,” said Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden.
Valentine’s 20-year mandatory minimum term in federal prison will be followed by 10 years of federal supervised release.
This sentence was the result of an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney J. Ryan Love of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida, prosecuted the case.