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Press Release

Butte County Man Sentenced to over 12 Years in Prison for Fentanyl Pill Trafficking

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

Julius Rucks, 42, of Oroville, was sentenced Monday to 12 years and nine months in prison for distribution of fentanyl, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to public proceedings and court documents, on Dec. 6, 2018, Jan. 10, 2019, and April 3, 2019, Rucks sold over 1,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl to a confidential source and undercover agent. On July 23, 2019, agents executed a search warrant at Rucks’ residence in Oroville and found a large electric motor-driven pill press, the pill dies for stamping the counterfeit pharmaceutical markings onto the fake pills, large amounts of powdered fentanyl, pill binder material, and other pill manufacturing materials, and three handguns with loaded magazines. In November 2022, Rucks pleaded guilty to three counts of distributing fentanyl.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the Calaveras Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cameron L. Desmond and David W. Spencer prosecuted the case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

Updated August 29, 2023

Drug Trafficking