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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Henderson Woman Pleads Guilty To Distribution Of Fentanyl Resulting In The Death Of A Person

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A Henderson woman pleaded guilty today to distributing fentanyl that resulted in the overdose death of a person in 2017, announced U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson for the District of Nevada and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Daniel W. Neill for the DEA.

Tianna Christina Cordova, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of a controlled substance. She was charged by a superseding indictment in August, along with co-defendant Robert James Thornburg.

On June 21, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Cordova and Thornburg’s residence in Henderson. Law enforcement found varied amounts of oxycodone, hydrocodone, alprazolam, four firearms, and cash. She and Thornburg, neither of whom are doctors, conspired with each other to distribute oxycodone and amphetamine (Adderall) to individuals. Often Cordova would sell narcotics to individuals who contacted her via the internet, where she would post ads for sale using coded language for the availability of certain drugs. Cordova admitted that, on March 14, 2017, she unlawfully distributed a controlled substance in the form of prescription pills that contained fentanyl to an individual. That person ingested the pills which resulted in her death from multiple drug intoxication, namely from an overdose of fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl, and citalopram.

United States District Judge Richard F. Boulware II accepted the guilty plea and set a sentencing hearing for February 21, 2019. The maximum penalty is 20 years and a $1,000,000 fine.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin. Street names include “China Girl,” “King Ivory,” and “Murder 8.”  Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths. 

The case was investigated by the DEA, with assistance from the Clark County Coroner’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon C. Jaroch is prosecuting the case.


Updated November 20, 2018