After nearly two years in custody, a 25-year-old Sylmar man has pleaded guilty to participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy and distributing fentanyl resulting in death.
The incident in question occurred in May 2020, when the defendant sold ten fentanyl-laced oxycodone pills to a 20-year-old active-duty Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside. The Marine died of an overdose the very next day as a result.
Fentanyl-related overdoses are on the rise in the United States. It is common for other drugs to be laced with fentanyl with or without the buyer's knowledge. It is unclear whether the Marine knew the pills were laced. The defendant used the social media app Snapchat to advertise and sell the controlled substances. The ten pills sold to the Marine came from a batch of 1,000 counterfeit fentanyl-laced oxycodone. The defendant also admitted to selling MDMA, LSD, and cocaine.
Part of a Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
The defendant was charged along with three others in what is considered a drug trafficking conspiracy. Under federal code, a conspiracy occurs when two or more people conspire to violate drug laws. In addition to the Sylmar man, others charged include his supplier, a civilian distributor, and a Marine insider who assisted in distribution to others at Camp Pendleton.
For the distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, the defendant faces a minimum federal prison sentence of 20 years. Along with the added drug conspiracy charges, he could be facing life imprisonment.
Fight Severe Federal Drug Crimes
Federal drug crimes are serious offenses that can derail someone's life. No matter the circumstances surrounding the situation, everyone charged has a right to the presumption of innocence and the right to legal counsel.
Sometimes guilty pleas are the right decision. Other times it is better to fight the charges. Regardless, you and your loved ones should make an informed decision with a qualified criminal defense attorney like the Sigal Law Group. Call 818-325-0570 for a free consultation.