OAKLAND – Ian Edward Parrish was sentenced to serve 80 months in prison for distributing fentanyl that resulted in the fatal overdose an Ohio resident, announced United States Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp. The sentence was handed down by the Hon. Araceli Martínez-Olguín, United States District Judge.
Parrish, 28, of San Jose, Calif., pleaded guilty to the charge on August 28, 2023. In his plea agreement, Parrish admitted that on August 16, 2022, he sold four loose pills to an individual in a bar in Fremont, Calif. Two of the pills were counterfeit “M30” pills that were blue and had the appearance of “Perc30,” a common prescription pain killer that contains Percocet, a federally controlled substance. Parrish admitted that when the victim asked if the pills were real, he told him that they were. But, contrary to the assurance he gave the victim, Parrish admitted that he did not actually know whether the pills were genuine Percocet. According to the plea agreement, Parrish admitted that the government could prove the pills he sold contained fentanyl. After buying the pills, the victim left the bar and consumed one. Approximately 17 minutes later, the victim began to sway and lose balance, and then lost consciousness. According to the plea agreement, emergency personnel arrived and tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the victim; the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. In the plea agreement, Parrish admitted that the cause of the victim’s death was the pill the victim consumed and that Parrish sold to him.
According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, the victim left behind a spouse, as well as 6 children and 11 grandchildren.
On August 22, 2023, Parrish was charged by Information with distributing the fentanyl, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C). He pleaded guilty to the charge.
In addition to the 80-month federal prison sentence, Judge Martínez-Olguín ordered Parrish to serve three years of supervision following his release from federal prison. Parrish was remanded to federal custody after the sentencing hearing and began serving his prison sentence immediately.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan M. Mateer with the assistance of Isabel Trevizo and Jessie Chelsea. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by FBI and the Fremont Police Department.
One Pill Can Kill: Beware of pills bought on the street: 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 be obtained at a lower cost. However, very small variations in the amount or quality of fentanyl create huge effects on the potency of the counterfeit pills and can easily cause death. Fentanyl has now become the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States. Counterfeit, fentanyl-laced pills are usually shaped and colored to resemble pills that are sold legitimately at pharmacies.