Los Angeles Police apprehended Sherman Oaks resident Trent Michael Tomasovich on July 23, 2019. He was turned over to federal authorities who charged him with one felony count of “distribution of fentanyl resulting in death.” He pleaded not guilty on July 24, 2019, in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
He changed his plea to guilty in September of 2019. “In his plea agreement, Tomasovich admitted that but for the use of the fentanyl that he distributed, the two victims would have lived,” according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District.
On August 29, 2022, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter sentenced Tomasovich to the mandatory minimum of 20 years in federal prison.
According to court documents, Tomasovich sold some fentanyl to a 24-year-old woman on July 13, 2018. She was found dead the next morning.
Although he was aware of the woman's death, a few hours later, a 38-year-old man found her stash of drugs and consumed some of the fentanyl. He, too, died.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and is 50-100 times stronger than morphine, according to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). At about 75%, it is the leading cause of overdose deaths in the United States.
High-Intensity Task Force
Tomasovich was already on the federal radar for trafficking heroin when he was arrested for the fentanyl deaths. The USAO credited the DEA's High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Fusion Task Force, which included the Los Angeles Police Department as well as the Glendale Police and Ventura County Sheriff's departments.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Department of Justice's General Crimes Section and International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section prosecuted the case.
The opioid epidemic was declared a national emergency in 2017. Because fentanyl is such a prevalent and lethal opioid, the consequences for trafficking in it are severe. A conviction for distribution of fentanyl that causes death carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a maximum of life without parole.
Guilty or innocent, anyone charged with a federal crime needs an aggressive criminal defense attorney experienced in federal law. Call the Sigal Law Group at 818-325-0570 for a free consultation.