Oklahoma City Man Sentenced to Serve More Than 21 Years in Federal Prison for Fentanyl and Firearms Offenses

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Fentanyl and opioid crisis in United States of America

OKLAHOMA CITY – Yesterday, DANIEL DEWAYNE COWNS, 46, of Oklahoma City, was sentenced to serve more than 21 years in federal prison for his involvement in fentanyl distribution and his possession of seven firearms—including several assault weapons—following multiple felony convictions, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester. 

On June 4, 2020, a federal grand jury returned a five-count Indictment charging Cowns with multiple drug and weapons offenses, including possession of more than 400 grams of fentanyl with intent to distribute and illegal possession of firearms by a convicted felon.  The charges stemmed from a search warrant executed on Cowns’ residence by Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics agents.  The search resulted in the seizure of almost two pounds of a mixture containing fentanyl, smaller amounts of methamphetamine, nearly $26,000 in cash, and seven firearms—ranging from revolvers to large caliber rifles with extended magazines.

On January 12, 2021, Cowns pleaded guilty to Counts 1 and 4 of the Indictment, charging him with possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute and being a felon in possession of firearms, respectively.

On August 19, 2021, U.S. District Judge Scott L. Palk sentenced Cowns to serve 262 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release.  In imposing the sentence, Judge Palk noted the seriousness of the offense, including the dangerousness of fentanyl and the fact that Cowns was keeping these drugs and guns in a house with three minor children.  Judge Palk also highlighted Cowns’ significant criminal history, which included multiple felony convictions, when explaining the sentence.


“The callous disregard by Cowns in keeping dangerous and deadly fentanyl, methamphetamine, and firearms around minor children is appalling,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Troester.  “We are pleased that Judge Palk took this conduct into consideration in imposing such a stiff sentence.  Special thanks to the OBN and ATF agents who worked this case.”

This case was the result of a coordinated investigation led by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.  It is also a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David McCrary prosecuted the case.