Resident of so-called Bradenton heroin house gets 90-day sentence

- Families who live 12th Street West in Bradenton say their friendly neighborhood is being spoiled by the goings-on at one particular house.

Strangers come and go, but a recent uptick in activity caught the attention of law enforcement and officers are cracking down.

Neighbor Bernard Knight says he’s seen it all at this house – even a person overdosing in the street where his children play.

“They walk around here barefooted, sores, bumps on their bodies, walking around here just looking like zombies,” Knight described to FOX 13 News. “They look basically dead. Basically dead.”

Bradenton police say one home and one woman - Sherica Garvin - bare most of the blame.

“She was probably the most active street-level fentayl dealer in the city,” Bradenton Police Department Sgt. Shannon Seymour said.

Officers with Bradenton police watched for nearly a year as they say Garvin sold heroin mixed with deadly carfentanyl. Sgt. Seymour says in that year, 40 people overdosed within in a one-block radius of Garvin's home.

Last October, they'd seen enough. Officers arrested Garvin for sale or delivery of cartfentanyl.  It wasn't her first felony arrest, so the State Attorney's Office asked for a 10-year sentence. The judge gave her 90 days instead.

“If it was me in her shoes they would probably try and give me life in prison, 30 years or something. 90 days in jail? Dang, that's not right,” Knight pointed out. “There are kids around here. I don't respect that.”

Bradenton police agree with Knight.

In a statement, the department says, “we are very disappointed with the sentence… but will continue to proactively investigate narcotic sales.”

Gerrie Stanhope with No Longer Silent works to fight the deadly heroin epidemic and was baffled by the sentence.

“90 days is nothing. I could do 90 days,” Stanhope said.

After losing several members of her only family to heroin, she hopes this sentence is a one-time deal.

“No Longer Silent needs to get all the judges together and sit down and talk and let them know how we feel [and how] people who have lost people feel,” Stanhope said.

The State Attorney's Office says Garvin had only spent a week or two in jail before being sentenced. That means she'll have to carry out the rest of her 90-day sentence. 

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