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Press Release

Sherman Oaks Man Arrested on Federal Narcotics Charge Alleging He Sold Fentanyl that Caused Two Overdose Deaths

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

          LOS ANGELES – A Sherman Oaks man has been arrested on federal narcotics trafficking charges related to the deaths of two people who suffered fentanyl overdoses at the same Woodland Hills residence.

          Trent Michael Tomasovich, 28, was arrested on Tuesday by the Los Angeles Police Department. He is now in federal custody.

          An indictment naming Tomasovich was unsealed this afternoon when he was arraigned in United States District Court. The indictment charges Tomasovich with one felony count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death. Tomasovich pleaded not guilty to the charge and his trial will be scheduled for a later date.

          According to the indictment and a search warrant that was also unsealed this afternoon, Tomasovich sold fentanyl to a 24-year-old woman who took the drug at a Woodland Hills apartment and died during the early morning hours of July 14, 2018. The victim was visiting a friend, who found the woman unresponsive and then summoned paramedics.

          Several hours later, the boyfriend of the woman who lived in the Woodland Hills apartment found the narcotics that the deceased woman had purchased, court documents state. Ignoring his girlfriend’s request to dispose of the drugs, the 38-year-old man consumed the fentanyl and suffered a fatal overdose.

          “The two overdose deaths alleged in this case are a stark reminder that the explosion of fentanyl trafficking is causing death and misery across the nation,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. “People who deal in fentanyl should be on notice that federal authorities are aggressively investigating deaths linked to illegal opioids, and we can seek stiff federal mandatory minimum prison sentences for dealers who sell narcotics that cause fatal overdoses.”

          “The HIDTA Fusion Task Force will continue to aggressively target those who prey upon our community and dump lethal drugs onto our streets,” said DEA Deputy Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux. “The men and women of the DEA, as well as our federal, state and local counterparts, take seriously our commitment to stand up for victims of the opioid epidemic who can no longer speak for themselves.”

          “The DEA will continue to aggressively target those who utilize online marketplaces to peddle fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.  The outstanding relationships we maintain with other federal, state, local, and county law enforcement agencies make investigations such as this one possible,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge William D. Bodner of the DEA’s Los Angeles Field Division.

          According to the affidavit in support of the search warrant that was unsealed today, “Tomasovich has a long history of being investigated by law enforcement for narcotics trafficking.” In 2017, Tomasovich was identified on wiretapped phone calls as being a customer of a heroin delivery service that was the subject of a federal grand jury indictment, but he was not charged in that case. In early 2018, after he offered heroin for sale on Craigslist, Tomasovich sold heroin during an undercover operation conducted by the Glendale Police Department, which led to him being convicted of drug trafficking offenses in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

          The narcotics-trafficking charge in the indictment carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison and a potential sentence of life without parole.

          An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

          The investigation into Tomasovich is being conducted by the HIDTA Fusion Task Force, which is part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force and operates under the direction of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Los Angeles Police Department (Van Nuys Homicide), the Glendale Police Department and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office provided substantial assistance in this matter.

          This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys A. Carley Palmer of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering and Racketeering Section and Benjamin R. Barron, chief of the Santa Ana Branch Office.


Ciaran McEvoy
Public Information Officer
United States Attorney’s Office
Central District of California (Los Angeles)
(213) 894-4465

Updated August 26, 2019

Press Release Number: 19-152