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Press Release

Fort Worth Fentanyl Traffickers Sentenced

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

Two fentanyl traffickers were sentenced to a combined 23 years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.

Steven Keys, 28, and Rico Marion, 26, were indicted in August 2022. The following month, Mr. Keys pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance; Mr. Marion pleaded guilty to the same charge shortly thereafter. Mr. Keys was sentenced in February to 151 months in federal prison, and Mr. Marion was sentenced Tuesday to 135 months in federal prison.

“HSI is deeply committed to prosecuting those who bring illicit drugs into our communities,” said Todd Johnson, Assistant Special Agent in Charge HSI Dallas.  “We hope these combined sentences send a direct message to the drug traffickers who  peddle this poison that HSI will never relent in putting those away who have no regard for our nation’s laws.”  

According to court documents, Mr. Keys and Mr. Marion dealt fentanyl-laced counterfeit oxycodone pills out of a motel in Fort Worth.

On July 12, 2022, after a surveillance team posted at the motel observed an apparent drug sale, law enforcement pulled Mr. Keys and Mr. Marion over on traffic violations. Inside the vehicle, investigators discovered a Louis Vuitton bag containing $7,129 cash, likely derived from the sale of illegal drugs.

The following day, law enforcement reviewed surveillance footage from convenience stores where open-air narcotics sales are known to occur and observed Mr. Keys and others dealing drugs from the vehicle.

They tracked the vehicle back to the motel and sent a confidential source into the room to purchase fentanyl pills. The confidential source stated he purchased five small blue pills – which he turned over to agents – from Mr. Keys.

Agents arrested Mr. Keys without incident that evening. They arrested Mr. Marion in the motel room after breaching the door and deploying gas inside the motel.

A search of the room uncovered a black backpack containing approximately 1,000 fentanyl-laced blue pills, a .40 caliber handgun on the bed, and a plastic baggy of marijuana inside the toilet. 

Homeland Security Investigations and the Fort Worth Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Smith prosecuted the case.


Erin Dooley 
Press Officer 

Updated May 4, 2023

Drug Trafficking