A 62-year-old Key West man who lives in public housing and receives Social Security sold the synthetic opioid fentanyl and heroin laced with cocaine last fall, according to federal prosecutors.
Jeffrey Steven Kaplan, who prosecutors say had a daily heroin habit and overdosed just before his arrest but was revived with a Narcan shot, was caught in an undercover sting by Key West police, Homeland Security and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The agencies for the past several months have been setting up purchases of fentanyl, which is part of the growing opioid epidemic.
"It's a particularly strong and dangerous drug that in small doses can be lethal," said Alyson Crean, spokeswoman for Key West police. "Over the past year, law enforcement has seen a growing presence of the drug in the Keys."
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In several instances last year, Kaplan sold almost 10 grams of fentanyl and 2.8 grams of heroin laced with cocaine, Crean said.
Kaplan remains locked up awaiting a jury trial set for May 14 at U.S. District Court in Key West.
"The weight of the evidence against the defendant is substantial," wrote Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow in a detention order signed April 24.. "The defendant constitutes a danger to the community."
After his arrest, Kaplan told officers that since Hurricane Irma struck in September 2017, he has been making trips to Miami and returning with 50 small plastic bags of drugs for his own use and for sale, according to court documents.
Kaplan was arrested April 12 at his home, the senior citizen public housing complex on Kennedy Drive, where he lived with his partner. Kaplan collects $1,245 a month in Social Security disability payments.
If convicted, he faces more than 10 years in prison.