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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty in Fentanyl Overdose Death

Assistant U. S. Attorney David P. Finn (619) 546-7342

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – March 4, 2020

SAN DIEGO – Michael Steen pleaded guilty in federal court today, admitting that he supplied fentanyl that led to the fatal overdose of a 33-year-old Ramona woman on July 9, 2018.

According to his plea agreement, Steen sold more than 500 grams of what he knew to be fentanyl in 2018. He pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge F. A. Gossett III to Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 29, 2020 by U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel.

“This case should put dealers on notice that every time we have an overdose death, we are going to come looking for you, because many lives are at stake,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “We are using every available criminal and civil tool to combat this deadly epidemic and stop these tragic losses.”

“This case is an example of the DEA, the Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Attorney’s office working together with one definitive goal: To put people responsible for drug deaths in jail,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery.  “We will continue to aggressively pursue those who deal drugs and cause death in our community.”

“Sheriff's Deputies are on the front lines of combating the proliferation of illicit fentanyl,” said Sheriff’s said Captain Justin White. “There are many stories of lives stolen. In this case, the victim is a young woman from Ramona who was just starting off in life.  The Sheriff's Department is dedicated to working with our federal, state and local partners in holding those accountable for the distribution, supply or manufacturing of this potent painkiller.”

The United States Attorney’s Office is working closely with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration and our other federal, state and local law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute cases targeting those who supply drugs in fatal overdose cases.

U.S. Attorney Brewer praised prosecutor David Finn as well as the San Diego Sheriff’s Office and DEA agents for their hard work on the case.

For those who suffer from addiction, please know there is help. Call the Crisis line at 888-724-7240; it’s always open.

DEFENDANT                                               Case Number 19-CR-0869-GPC                                        

Michael Steen                                                    Age: 26          

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl – Title 21, U.S.C., Section 841(a)(1)

Maximum penalty: Mandatory minimum 10 years in prison up to life

AGENCY

San Diego Sheriff’s Office

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Narcotics Task Force

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Press Release Number: 
CAS20-0304-Steen
Updated March 4, 2020