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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 20, 2020

Woodland Man Indicted for Fentanyl Overdose Death and Fentanyl Trafficking Conspiracy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Woodland resident has been charged by indictment with distribution of fentanyl resulting in an overdose death and with distributing fentanyl on two separate dates after the overdose death, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to the indictment, Joshua Cabanillas, 20, distributed fentanyl that resulted in the overdose death of a person in Woodland in February 2020. Additionally, Sacramento residents Gregory Tabarez, 22, and Joseph Elijah Cuaron, 20, are charged by complaint with distributing fentanyl alongside Cabanillas.

The complaint alleges that Cabanillas was arrested on May 15, after meeting with Tabarez and Cuaron to distribute an additional 1,000 counterfeit blue “M30” pills containing fentanyl. The counterfeit pills are designed to look like authentic oxycodone hydrochloride 30 mg pills that could be obtained from a pharmacy. Unlike authentic pharmaceuticals, the counterfeit pills are pressed illicitly and actually contain fentanyl.

Today, the United States faces an unprecedented drug epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 70,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2019. Many of these deaths are attributed to the increased abuse of potent and dangerous synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The Drug Enforcement Administration has reported that fentanyl-containing counterfeit pills continue to be associated with overdose deaths across the country.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Woodland Police Department; the Sacramento County Probation Department; the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department; the Sacramento Police Department; the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Coroner Section; the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office; the Yolo County Probation Department; Placer County Sheriff’s Office; the California Highway Patrol; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Special Service Unit; and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Adult Parole Operations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Vincenza Rabenn is prosecuting the case.

Cabanillas, Tabarez and Cuaron are currently in custody. If convicted of the distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, Cabanillas faces a maximum statutory penalty mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. If convicted of the conspiracy or distribution charges, Cabanillas, Tabarez and Cuaron face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Press Release Number: 
2:20-cr-112 JAM
Updated July 20, 2020