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Press Release

Defendant Charged with Distributing Fentanyl and Methamphetamine that Resulted in Overdose Death of San Diego Resident

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


SAN DIEGO – James Jason Hendershaw of San Diego was charged in an indictment unsealed this week with distributing the fentanyl and methamphetamine that resulted in the death of a 20-year-old San Diego resident.

The Oceanside Police Department and Oceanside Fire Department responded to a 911 call a few minutes after 6 a.m. on January 10, 2019. When they arrived, they found the victim, identified in court records as R.J., unresponsive and lying on a sidewalk at the corner of Farel Street and Via Sonora in Oceanside. He was pronounced dead a few hours later.

Hendershaw allegedly distributed the fatal mix of fentanyl and methamphetamine the night before.

“Prosecuting drug dealers who supply deadly fentanyl and methamphetamine is not just about accountability; it’s about preventing death by interrupting the supply chain,” said U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath. “By identifying and charging the distributors, we send a clear message to the dealers of these toxins: You will be held accountable for the lives your product destroys.”

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan Sausedo and Adam Gordon.

DEFENDANT                                               Case Number 23-CR-2645-RBM                                        

James Jason Hendershaw                               Age: 36                                   Vista, CA


Distribution of Fentanyl and Methamphetamine Resulting in Death – Title 18, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C)

Maximum penalty: Life in prison

Mandatory minimum: Twenty years in prison


Oceanside Police Department

State of California Department of Health Care Services

*The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Media Relations Director Kelly Thornton (619) 546-9726 or

Updated May 17, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CAS24-0517-Hendershaw