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Press Release

San Jose Resident Faces Charge Of Distributing Fentanyl

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

OAKLAND – Ian Edward Parrish appeared today in United States District Court to face a federal charge that he distributed fentanyl in the form of counterfeit “M30” pills, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp. Parrish made his initial appearance today in United States District Court in Oakland before United States Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore.

The charge was set out in a criminal complaint filed March 14, 2023, and unsealed in federal court today. According to the criminal complaint, Parrish, 28, of San Jose, Calif., sold two counterfeit Percocet pills to an individual in a bar in Fremont. The complaint alleges that the counterfeit pills were in fact laced with fentanyl. The complaint alleges that the individual who purchased the pills consumed one and shortly thereafter died of an overdose.

The complaint charges Parrish with distribution of fentanyl, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C). The statutory maximum for the charge is a maximum 20 years’ imprisonment, a maximum fine of $250,000, a maximum of 3 years’ supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. However, any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by a court only after considerations of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. 3553.

The charges contained in the criminal complaint are only allegations. As in any criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

At today’s hearing, Parrish was ordered detained. His next federal court appearance is scheduled for March 21, 2023, before Magistrate Judge Westmore for a status conference to consider detention and additional issues.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan M. Mateer of the Oakland Branch of the United States Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Karina Ruiz. 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.

Updated March 16, 2023