TAMPA — An inmate at a Florida jail has been sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for distributing drugs that caused other inmates to suffer overdoses.


Timothy CathCart, 33, was sentenced Wednesday in Tampa federal court. He pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl and norfentanyl causing injury.


According to court documents, CathCart was part of a drug trafficking organization that conspired to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine throughout parts of Florida. He was arrested for a traffic violation in Pasco County early last year.


Moments before his arrest, CathCart concealed approximately seven grams of fentanyl, which he had mixed with seven grams of gabapentin and methamphetamines, investigators said. CathCart then smuggled the substances into the Pasco County jail.


Shortly after his arrival, CathCart distributed the fentanyl to three inmates, authorities said. All three inmates lost consciousness, overdosed and suffered serious bodily injury. About a week later, two additional inmates overdosed from the substances that CathCart had smuggled into the jail, investigators said. One inmate eventually regained consciousness, and the other inmate died. An autopsy determined the inmate died from accidental fentanyl toxicity.