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Press Release

Lincoln Woman Sentenced for Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl Resulting in Death

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

Acting United States Attorney Susan Lehr announced that Regina A. Rodriguez, 46, of Lincoln, Nebraska, was sentenced on September 18, 2023, by Senior United States District Judge John M. Gerrard to 20 years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, resulting in the death of another person.  Following her release from prison, Rodriguez will serve three years on supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

On the morning of June 21, 2022, a Lincoln man was found dead at a Lincoln halfway house.  A spoon containing a blue/white substance, a broken pill, and a syringe were found in the man’s room.  Two additional blue pills were found in his wallet.  Testing at the Nebraska State Patrol laboratory showed the two pills found in the victim’s wallet and the substance on the spoon contained fentanyl and another drug, 4-ANPP.  After an autopsy was conducted, it was determined the cause of death was fentanyl toxicity.

Text messages in the victim’s phone led investigators to suspect Rodriguez, and her husband/co-defendant, Arnaldo Rodriguez-Santini, were the sources of the fentanyl.  In August of 2022, Rodriguez was contacted by narcotics investigators.  She admitted knowing the victim.  She admitted she and her husband were addicted to opioids and used pills which she knew contained fentanyl.  When asked about messages from the victim asking to buy pills at his workplace on June 20, 2022, Rodriguez said she did not specifically remember going there on that date but admitted it was likely she and her husband had met with the victim and delivered five pills to him.

The case against Arnaldo Rodriguez-Santini is scheduled for a status hearing on September 26, 2023.

This case was investigated by the Lincoln/Lancaster County Narcotics Task Force (Lincoln Police Department, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office and UNL Police Department).


Matt Lierman - Chief, Drug Enforcement Unit

Updated September 21, 2023

Drug Trafficking