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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 7, 2022

Elkton Fentanyl Drug Dealer Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison for Fentanyl Distribution Charges Relating to a Fatal Overdose

Defendant Admitted that He Sold Fentanyl to a Recovering Victim One Day Before the Victim’s Fatal Overdose and Possessed 38 Bags of Fentanyl

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Jude Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Robert Allen Valladares, age 37, of Elkton, Maryland, to 12 years in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for distribution of fentanyl, and two counts of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.   

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Cecil County State’s Attorney James A. Dellmyer; Cecil County Sheriff Scott Adams; and Chief Carolyn Rogers of the Elkton Police Department.

According to his guilty plea, in December 2019, the Cecil County Drug Task Force received information from a confidential informant that identified Valladares as a Cecil County controlled substances dealer acting under the alias of “Rob Valley” and provided his cell phone number.

On February 8, 2020, the Elkton Police Department was dispatched to a residence in reference to an overdose death. Upon arrival, an officer made contact with the victim’s father who stated that his son was deceased in his bedroom from, what he believed to be, an overdose. Emergency medical services arrived and pronounced the victim deceased shortly after. According to the victim’s family, the victim was recently discharged from a recovery house and appeared to be recovering well.

Upon further investigation into the victim’s death, law enforcement learned that the night before the victim’s death, the victim asked his father to take him to his friend “Rob’s” house to obtain suboxone strips. Once the victim’s father drove him to Valladares’ residence, the victim went inside for approximately two minutes and returned to his father’s vehicle. The victim’s father knew Valladares and had meet him previously.

An autopsy performed on the victim’s body revealed the cause of death to be a mixed drug intoxication of acyrl fentanyl, fentanyl, desproprionyl fentanyl, methamphetamine and xylazine.

A subsequent forensic data extraction of the victim’s four cell phones located in the victim’s room revealed that the victim had called Valladares one day before his death.

As stated in his plea agreement, on February 13, 2020, investigators executed a search warrant on Valladares’ residence. As a result of the search warrant, investigators seized prescription alprazolam pills, a digital scale, mail addressed to Valladares, five blue wax bags stamped “Facetime” containing suspected fentanyl, additional empty blue wax bags stamped “Facetime,” and a cell phone. Analysis of three of the blue wax bags stamped “Facetime” revealed the substance to be fentanyl.

A subsequent forensic data extraction of Valladares’ cell phone revealed that it contained over 80,000 text messages and messages consistent with the distribution and sale of controlled substances.

On May 4, 2020, a traffic stop was conducted on a vehicle leaving the Valladares residence. A K-9 scan resulted in the discovery of baggies containing fentanyl in the car. The driver advised that he had been purchasing drugs from Valladares for the past three to four months. Analysis of the substance within the bags seized from the car was confirmed to be fentanyl.

As a result of a search warrant executed at Valladares’ Elkton, Maryland residence on May 19, 2020, law enforcement located 38 bags of fentanyl. Valladares admits that he possessed the fentanyl with the intent to distribute it.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the Maryland State Police, Office of the State’s Attorney for Cecil County, Cecil County Sheriff’s Office, and the Elkton Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kim Y. Oldham and Mary W. Setzer, who are prosecuting the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Alexis Abbott (301) 344-4342
Updated January 7, 2022