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Press Release

Fort Collins Women Sentenced for Conspiring to Distribute Fentanyl Resulting in Three Overdose Deaths

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

DENVER – Chelsea Leonowicz, 28, of Fort Collins, Colorado, was sentenced on today’s date to serve 100 months in federal prison following her August 23, 2017 entry of a guilty plea to Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl, a Schedule II Controlled Substance, the use of which resulted in death.  The proceedings were held before U.S. District Judge Christine M. Arguello.  Leonowicz’ guilty plea followed a February 2017 indictment with co-conspirator Jessica Rud, 29, also of Fort Collins, Colorado.  Rud previously pled guilty to that same charge.  In February of this year, she was sentenced to serve 121 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  Both sentences will be followed by a five-year term of federal supervised release. 

Court documents indicate that fentanyl distributed by the co-conspirators resulted in the overdose death of one individual in Fort Collins on December 1, 2016.  Days later, on December 3, 2016, two more individuals overdosed and died in Loveland, Colorado as a result of the continued distribution of that substance by Rud and Leonowicz.  Although the drug was sold as “White China” heroin, in actuality it was almost 100% pure fentanyl. 

Following their respective sentencing hearings, both defendants were remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Service. 

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force, the Fort Collins Police Services (FCPS), the Loveland Police Department (LPD) and the Fort Collins Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution was handled by Julia Martinez and Bradley W. Giles, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Colorado, Denver.


Jeff Dorschner
(303) 454-0243

Updated June 1, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CASE NUMBER: 17-cr-00041