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Press Release

Oakland Dealer Pleads Guilty To Selling Fentanyl Over Months In San Francisco’s Tenderloin

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN FRANCISCO – Alex Murillo pleaded guilty today to all eight counts in a federal indictment charging him with multiple sales of fentanyl and methamphetamine that occurred in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Special Agent in Charge Bob P. Beris. 

Murillo, 25, who resides in Oakland, was arrested on June 21, 2022, following the filing of a federal criminal complaint charging multiple street drug sales by Murillo in the Tenderloin. The complaint alleged that on April 7, 2022, Murillo met up with two undercover police officers near 8th and Market Streets in the Tenderloin and sold the undercover officers approximately five grams of fentanyl for $100. The complaint also asserted that on June 8, 2022, Murillo communicated again with one of the undercover police officers and met with the officer near the San Francisco Civic Center BART platform in the Tenderloin. The complaint describes that Murillo sold the undercover officer two ounces of fentanyl and three ounces of methamphetamine for $1,400. 

After the complaint was filed, a federal grand jury issued an eight-count indictment that contained, in addition to the complaint’s two charges, six other charges against Murillo for fentanyl and methamphetamine trafficking on four other days. The indictment charges in two counts that Murillo on March 23 and again on April 21, 2022, sold fentanyl in the Tenderloin. In those sales, as described in a filed government detention memo, Murillo sold $40 of yellow fentanyl and $750 of pink fentanyl, respectively, to undercover police officers. The indictment also charges that on May 12, 2022, Murillo sold approximately one ounce of fentanyl and two ounces of methamphetamine for $800 to an undercover police officer in the Tenderloin. The indictment lastly charges that on June 21, 2022, Murillo possessed methamphetamine with the intention to sell it. On that date, as described in the government’s memo, law enforcement officers arrested Murillo outside of his Oakland apartment and seized nearly four ounces of methamphetamine from his backpack. 

Murillo pleaded guilty today to all of the indictment’s eight counts, which included three counts of possession with the intent to distribute and distribution of fentanyl in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C). Each of these counts carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with the intent to distribute and distribution of at least 40 grams of fentanyl in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(l)(B)(vi) and to three counts of possession with the intent to distribute and distribution of 50 grams and more of a substance containing methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(l)(B)(viii). Each of these counts carry a maximum prison sentence of 40 years and a minimum sentence of 5 years. All of these counts also carry a period of supervision after release from prison for at least three years and for up to life. However, any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by a court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

United States District Judge Susan Illston received Murillo’s guilty pleas and set a sentencing hearing for Murillo on January 20, 2023. Murillo remains in custody while awaiting his sentencing hearing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christa Hall is prosecuting the case, with the assistance of Lance Libatique. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by DEA and the San Francisco Police Department. 

One Pill Can Kill: Avoid pills bought on the street because One Pill Can Kill. Fentanyl is a highly potent opiate that drug dealers use to create counterfeit pills which appear to be Oxycodone, Percocet, Xanax, and other drugs. Fentanyl is used because it is cheap. However, very small variations in the quantity or quality of fentanyl in a counterfeit pill will have huge effects on the pill’s potency, and these pills easily can and do cause deaths. Fentanyl is now the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States. Counterfeit, fentanyl-laced pills are usually shaped and colored to look like pills that are sold at pharmacies, like Percocet, Xanax, and others. For example, counterfeit pills known as “M30s” imitate Oxycodone, but when sold on the street they routinely contain fentanyl. These counterfeits are usually round tablets and often light blue in color, though they may be in a rainbow of colors, and they often have “M” and “30” imprinted on opposite sides of the pill. Do not take these or any other pills bought on the street – they can be counterfeit and poisonous, and you won’t know until it’s too late. 

Updated October 7, 2022