FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom sentenced a 22-year-old Lauderhill man to nine years in prison and three years of supervised release on Thursday after a spring break party in Broward ended with drug overdoses.
The sentencing guideline for Axel Giovany Casseus’s crimes was a maximum of 20 years in prison and the recommendation in the plea agreement was nine to 15, records show.
Marie Anne Michel wrote a letter to Bloom asking her for mercy for Casseus, a beloved cousin who had lived in Haiti without his father or mother until he was nine years old. His sister described him as a paternal figure.
“He survived an earthquake, moved to America, learned a new language, got good grades, excelled in football,” Michel wrote adding that was until he went on to suffer from drug addiction.
Casseus was 21 years old when six men and a woman overdosed on fentanyl-laced cocaine during a party at a rental house in Wilton Manors, according to police. Two went into cardiac arrest. Detectives accused Casseus, also known as “Gee” and “Gio,” of selling the cocaine to the college students at about 4:30 p.m., on March 10, 2022, in Fort Lauderdale.
Detectives arrested Casseus a day later after he sold $1,000 in cocaine to an undercover detective. The U.S. Military Academy West Point later reported the group hospitalized included their cadets. All of them survived. Prosecutors dropped the Broward County case involving the undercover detective.
Federal court records show Casseus was indicted in May and he pleaded guilty in December to two counts of distribution of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine and fentanyl. Records also show Casseus was at The Federal Detention Center on Thursday evening in Miami.
Read the plea agreement
Local 10 News Futures Planner/Assignment Desk Editor Kerry Weston contributed to this report.