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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 19, 2022

Hoopa Valley Fentanyl Dealer Sentenced To Two Years In Federal Prison

SAN FRANCISCO – Warren Herman Sloan was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison for attempting to distribute, and possessing with the intent to distribute, fentanyl on the Hoopa Valley Tribe Indian Reservation, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan, and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Wade R. Shannon.  The sentence was handed down by United States District Judge Susan Illston. 

Sloan, 25, formerly of Hoopa Valley in Humboldt County, pleaded guilty to the charges on February 15, 2022.  In his plea agreement, Sloan admitted that in early 2021 he engaged in distributing drugs for profit on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation.  Sloan further admitted that on March 29, 2021, he attempted to meet with his drug supplier to obtain narcotics which he planned to resell for profit on the Hoopa reservation.  He acknowledged in the plea agreement that he intended to purchase approximately 120 counterfeit pharmaceutical pills for $1,700.  During that meeting, police officers arrived and arrested Sloan.  Sloan stated in his plea agreement that he now knows the counterfeit pills he was purchasing contained fentanyl.

In a memorandum filed with the court for Sloan’s sentencing, the government pointed out additional facts relevant to the sentence Sloan should receive.  Specifically, the government argued that two young women, one 19 years old and the other 20, tragically died from fentanyl overdoses in Hoopa Valley in the early months of 2021.  The government pointed out that in his plea agreement Sloan admitted he was aware that on March 5, 2021 – two weeks before his arrest – the 19 year old woman, whom he knew from the reservation, died from a drug overdose and that he heard the overdose was caused by counterfeit pharmaceutical pills laced with fentanyl.  Sloan nevertheless continued to sell – and was one of only a few sellers of – counterfeit pills in Hoopa Valley.  

In addition to the 24-month prison term, U.S. District Judge Illston ordered Sloan to serve three years of supervised release following release from federal prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross E. Weingarten prosecuted the case.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI, DEA, and the Humboldt County Drug Task Force.  

One Pill Can Kill: Fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, is a highly potent opiate that can be diluted with cutting agents to create counterfeit pills that purport to mimic the effects of Oxycodone, Percocet, and other drugs but can typically be obtained at a lower cost than the genuine drugs.  However, very small variations in the amount or quality of fentanyl can have huge effects on the potency of the counterfeit pills, and with lethal consequences.  Fentanyl has now become the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States.  Counterfeit, fentanyl-laced pills are commonly shaped and colored to resemble pills that are sold legitimately at pharmacies. For example, counterfeit pills known as M30s mimic Oxycodone, but contain fentanyl.  These tablets are round and often light blue in color, though they come in many colors, and have “M” and “30” imprinted on opposite sides of the pill.
 

Updated August 22, 2022