MURDER CHARGES FILED FOR ALLEGED FENTANYL TRAFFICKER

Melvin Howard. MCSO/Contributed

A 56-year-old Miami-Dade County man, arrested in April 2023 for allegedly leading an extensive fentanyl distribution ring in Monroe County, has been indicted for murder for his role in an overdose death.

A Monroe County grand jury has indicted Melvin Anthony Howard on a charge of first-degree murder for allegedly supplying the fentanyl that led to the Sept. 2, 2022 overdose death of 53-year-old Amanda Roberts of Grassy Key.

Alexis Joy Sather, 23, of Marathon, Florida was also arrested for murder in March 2023 in connection with Roberts’ death. Sather bought fentanyl from Howard which she sold to Roberts, the Sheriff’s Office said.   

Howard is also facing charges of trafficking fentanyl, conspiracy to traffic fentanyl and the unlawful use of a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony.

Howard’s arrest in April followed a 15-month investigation by the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division and the Drug Enforcement Administration that they say led to the discovery that Howard was spearheading the distribution of approximately 4.5 kilograms of fentanyl throughout Monroe County.

“I want to thank the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office, and our federal partners with the DEA for their continued hard work to ensure that those who peddle this poison in our community are held to account,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay.

Howard remains in jail on a $1.3 million bond.  

Sather also remains in jail under no bond.