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Press Release

California Man Pleads Guilty To Possession With Intent To Distribute Fentanyl

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

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Rigoberto Calderon-Molina, 40, of Earlimart, California, pleaded guilty Monday to possession with the intent to distribute nearly 2.9 pounds Fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Daniel Neill of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Calderon-Molina was indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2018. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled before U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey on November 16, 2020.

According to court documents, on April 25, 2018, Calderon-Molina met an individual in a North Las Vegas parking lot to sell 1.3 kilograms (nearly 2.9 pounds) of Fentanyl, which is a Schedule II controlled substance. Law enforcement arrested Calderon-Molina and seized approximately 13,000 Fentanyl pills.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug that is approximately 80-100 times more potent than morphine, and is commonly added to heroin to increase its potency. Fentanyl poses a high risk of death not only to users, but also to law enforcement since the drug may be ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. A few milligrams, which is equivalent to a few grains of table salt, may be deadly. Users may believe that they are purchasing heroin without knowing that they are actually purchasing Fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths.

Calderon-Molina faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. The sentencing of a defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case was the product of an investigation by the DEA.



Updated August 4, 2020

Drug Trafficking