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Press Release

Defendant In Gaithersburg Drug Distribution Conspiracy Sentenced To More Than 12 Years In Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Defendant Sold Fentanyl and Acetyl Fentanyl That Caused At Least One Fatal Overdose

Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Leandro Acevedo Lozada, age 34, of Gaithersburg, Maryland to 150 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jesse R. Fong of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Washington Field Division; and Acting Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department.

“State and federal law enforcement and prosecutors in Maryland are working together to arrest and prosecute those who sell deadly fentanyl on our streets and in our neighborhoods,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “We’re also targeting drug dealers who use guns and increase the risk of gun violence in Maryland.  Working together with law enforcement partners, we are determined to reduce the number of opioid related deaths in Maryland.”

According to his plea agreement, from at least January 2017 through February 2017, Lozada, a/k/a “Dro,” conspired with Bradley Wade Seabolt and others to distribute fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine through street-level drug dealers.

Although Lozada was not certain of the exact chemical compounds contained in opioids he sold to Seabolt and others, he knew that the substance was bright white in color and very strong.  Because of those two features, Lozada suspected that it was fentanyl.  Because the opioids he sold were so strong, Lozada used powdered sugar to dilute them, in an effort to both expand its volume, and thus his profit, as well as to make it safer for his customers.

On January 11, 2017, emergency medical personnel responded to Victim A’s residence in Montgomery County, Maryland, where they found Victim A unresponsive.  Victim A had ingested a quantity of a substance containing both acetyl fentanyl and fentanyl distributed by Seabolt, who acquired it from Lozada.  Victim A was taken by ambulance to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, where he/she was later pronounced deceased. 

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland determined that Victim A’s death resulted from fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl, and cocaine intoxication.  The fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl ingested by Victim A was a but-for cause of Victim A’s death.

On February 17, 2017, law enforcement executed search warrants at two locations, a residence in Damascus, Maryland and a residence in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where Lozada spent time during the course of this conspiracy and kept various property.

Collectively, officers seized approximately 147 grams of a substance that contained detectable amounts of both fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl; approximately 23 grams of cocaine; a bag of powdered sugar that Lozada used as a cutting agent for his opioids; $4,452.00 in U.S. currency; a digital scale that Lozada used to weigh and process his narcotics for sale; and a loaded handgun which belonged to Lozada.  Lozada knowingly and intentionally possessed the handgun and all of the aforementioned narcotics, which he intended to distribute.

The handgun was manufactured outside of Maryland, and therefore traveled in and affected interstate and foreign commerce prior to Lozada possessing this firearm on February 17, 2017.  Prior to February 17, 2017, Lozada had been convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year of imprisonment, which prohibited him from legally possessing the handgun and/or any ammunition.

Co-defendant Bradley Wade Seabolt, age 30, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the DEA-Washington Field Division and the Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Bernstein, who is prosecuting the case.

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Updated June 25, 2019