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Press Release

Inland Empire Man Indicted for Allegedly Distributing Fentanyl to Two Victims Who Suffered Fatal Overdoses Over a Two-Week Span

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

RIVERSIDE, California – A Riverside County man was taken into federal custody today on a grand jury indictment alleging he distributed fentanyl to two victims – one of whom was under 21 years of age – who suffered fatal overdoses within a two week-span, the Justice Department announced today.

Edward Hernandez, 24, of Menifee, was charged in a two-count indictment returned on March 13.

Hernandez is charged with one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death and one count of distribution of fentanyl to a person under the age of 21 resulting in death. His arraignment is scheduled for this afternoon in United States District Court in Riverside.

According to the indictment, on April 10, 2020, Hernandez knowingly and intentionally distributed fentanyl to a victim, identified in court documents as “R.R.” The victim later ingested the powerful synthetic opioid – estimated to be 50 times more powerful than heroin – and suffered a fatal overdose the following day.

On April 21, 2020, Hernandez allegedly knowingly and intentionally distributed fentanyl to a second victim, identified in the indictment as “T.G.,” a person under the age of 21 years. Two days later, T.G. died from a fentanyl overdose.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Hernandez initially was charged in state court by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, which will seek to dismiss its case in light of the federal charges.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Overdose Death Investigations and Narcotics Unit, along with the Drug Enforcement Administration, are investigating this matter.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Stephen T. Merrill of the Riverside Branch Office is prosecuting this case.


Ciaran McEvoy
Public Information Officer
(213) 894-4465

Updated April 5, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-075