Fentanyl Dealer Sentenced to Eight Years in Overdose Death
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Xavier Robledo was sentenced in federal court today to 96 months in prison for distributing fentanyl that caused overdoses in two people and killed one, announced Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Wade R. Shannon and United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds. The sentence was handed down by United States District Judge Beth L. Freeman.
“The death and destruction caused by fentanyl knows no boundaries. From coast to coast this poison is devastating families,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Wade R. Shannon. “Holding accountable those, like Robledo, who ruin lives with their criminal actions is our priority.”
“M30 pills sold on the street are often laced with fentanyl, a cheap and deadly substitute,” said U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds. “These counterfeit pills mimic oxycodone, but they can be killers in disguise. The mismeasurement of even a microgram of fentanyl can have lethal consequences. We urge all to stay away from fentanyl sold on the street in any form it takes.”
Robledo, 21, of Seaside in Monterey County, California, pleaded guilty on February 8, 2022, to two counts of distributing fentanyl. In his plea agreement, Robledo admitted that in mid-April 2020, Robledo sold counterfeit, fentanyl-laced pills known as “M30” pills. M30 pills are light blue and imprinted with an “M” on one side and “30” on the other. He arranged the sale of three fentanyl-laced M30 pills via cell phone messages to a customer to whom Robledo had previously sold M30s. This person is identified only as “Individual 1” in the plea agreement. Robledo admitted he personally delivered the M30 pills, which he knew contained fentanyl, to Individual 1 at his house. The M30 pills caused Individual 1 to suffer a fentanyl overdose, and law enforcement officers found Individual 1 in an unresponsive state. Individual 1 was later able to recover from his overdose.
Robledo further admitted in his plea agreement that in early May 2020, he again sold a counterfeit M30 that he knew contained fentanyl. He sold this M30 to a different individual identified in the plea agreement as “Individual 2.” Robledo knew Individual 2 because two weeks earlier Robledo sold and delivered drugs to Individual 2 at a drug rehabilitation facility where Robledo knew Individual 2 was undergoing treatment. In the early May sale, Robledo arranged the sale to Individual 2 using cell phone messages, and Robledo delivered the M30 to Individual 2 at his house. A few hours later Individual 2 ingested the M30 pill. It caused him to overdose on fentanyl. Law enforcement officers found Individual 2 in an unresponsive state and transported him to a hospital. Individual 2 continued to be unresponsive. On or about May 8, 2020, Individual 2 died. Robledo admitted in his plea agreement that Individual 2 died as a result of the fentanyl in the M30 that Robledo sold him.
In addition to the 96 month prison term, U.S. District Judge Beth L. Freeman ordered Robledo to pay restitution for, among other things, the funeral costs of Individual 2. In addition, Robledo was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release following release from federal prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christina Liu and Casey Boome prosecuted the case with the assistance of Linda Love and Mark DiCenzo. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by DEA and the Pacific Grove Police Department.
Fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, is a highly potent opiate that can be diluted with cutting agents to create counterfeit pills that purport to mimic the effects of oxycodone and can typically be obtained at a lower cost than genuine oxycodone. However, small variations in the amount or quality of fentanyl can have significant effects on the potency of the counterfeit pills, raising the danger of overdoses. Fentanyl has become the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States. In this case, the counterfeit, fentanyl-laced pills that Robledo distributed were shaped and colored to resemble oxycodone pills that are sold legitimately in the marketplace. As in this case, counterfeit pills known as M30s are round tablets that are sometimes light blue and with “M” and “30” imprinted on opposite sides of the pill.
This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.