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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 1, 2019

Overdose Death from Fentanyl-Laced Pills Sends Drug Dealer to Federal Prison

Kennewick Drug Dealer Sentenced To 15 Years

Spokane – William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Hector Medina, age 37, of Kennewick, Washington, was sentenced today after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl resulting in the Death of another person. United States District Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr. sentenced Medina to a 15-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 5-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, Medina was distributing Fentanyl-laced pills, commonly referred to as “Fake Oxy’s” or “Mexi-pills,” and other illegal narcotics into the local community. Fentanyl-laced pills are illegally manufactured most commonly in Mexico and have found their way into this community and others in devastating numbers. Fentanyl is a 100 times more potent than morphine and hundreds of times more potent than street-level Heroin. Through an investigation by the Kennewick Police Department and the FBI Safe Streets FBI Task Force, Medina was confirmed to be the source of supply for the Fentanyl-laced pills that were distributed to a father of two small children who subsequently overdosed and died on October 26, 2017. The investigation into Medina culminated with a federal indictment and arrest in May 2018. Judge Mendoza commented about Medina’s direct role in poisoning the local community and in this case, directly causing the victim’s death. Noting there were no words of comfort that could be provided to the victim’s family, Judge Mendoza advised Medina his sole job now was to atone for his conduct.

United States Attorney Hyslop said, “The sentence imposed today is a stern warning to individuals who may distribute Fentanyl-laced pills. Prosecuting Opioid/Fentanyl-related cases, particularly one where an overdose occurred, is a top priority for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington. Fentanyl-laced pills are a dangerous threat to our community and a major contributing factor to the opioid epidemic, an epidemic that has taken approximately 70,000 lives in recent years. The successful outcome of this case was a direct result of the exceptional cooperation between the FBI and its local counterparts.”

Today’s enforcement action is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The OCDETF program provides supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved in the investigation of drug-related crimes.

This OCDETF investigation was conducted the Southeast Washington Safe Streets Task Force, which is compromised of the FBI, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, the Kennewick Police Department, Richland Police Department, Pasco Police Department and Washington Department of Corrections were the lead investigative agency in this matter after referral from the Kennewick Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Stephanie Van Marter, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Press Release Number: 
18-CR-06024-SMJ-2
Updated August 2, 2019