Fort Myers, Florida – U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell today sentenced Manuel Alfredo Dickerson Copland (30, Fort Myers) to 26 years and 10 months in federal prison for possession with the intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possession of MDMA, possession of oxycodone, and attempted possession with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. The court also ordered Copland to forfeit firearms, ammunition, and a vehicle, which were used to facilitate the offenses. A federal jury had found Copland guilty on July 21, 2023.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on December 30, 2021, Copland was stopped in his vehicle by members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Narcotics Team. Detectives recovered nearly 1,500 fentanyl pills, MDMA, oxycodone, and three firearms from Copland’s truck. Forensic evidence linked Copland to the drugs and firearms found in the vehicle. During the subsequent investigation, information was obtained that revealed Copland was associated with mail packages that were believed to contain drugs that were being shipped to him in the Fort Myers area. As a result, the investigation identified a package containing approximately four pounds of methamphetamine sent through the U.S. Mail from California. The package was seized by the United States Postal Inspection Service. The intercepted package containing methamphetamine was linked to Copland.
This case was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mark R. Morgan and Patrick L. Darcey.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.