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Press Release

Drug Dealer Receives 12 year Sentence for Fentanyl Overdose Death

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


SAN DIEGO – Federal District Court Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel today sentenced defendant Michael Steen to 148 months in prison for supplying the fentanyl that led to a 33-year-old Ramona woman’s fatal overdose on July 9, 2018. 

On March 4, 2020, Steen pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl, and admitted he sold more than 500 grams of what he knew to be fentanyl in 2018.

“The current fentanyl threat requires an “all in” response by law enforcement. My office is collaborating with partners at every level to seize fentanyl at the border, build cases against cartels and street distributors, and pursue death charges against dealers of this deadly poison,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “If you are selling fentanyl, beware: as today’s sentence reflects, you will be held fully accountable for the death and destruction you selfishly cause.”

“One of the DEA’s goals is to put people responsible for drug deaths in federal prison,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery.  “Today’s sentence of Michael Steen to over 12 years in federal prison is testament to the hard work DEA and our outstanding law enforcement partners put into this investigation to ensure our goal was accomplished.  We will continue to aggressively pursue those who deal drugs and cause death in our community.”

“The Sheriff's Department will continue to conduct thorough and collaborative fentanyl death investigations, ensuring traffickers and dealers are held accountable for a crime that costs lives and negatively impacts the community as a whole,” said Sheriff’s Narcotic and Gang Division Captain Dan Brislin.

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 County Sheriff’s Department 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.

DEFENDANTS                                            Case Number 19-CR-0869-GPC                                         

Michael Steen                                                    Age: 27


Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl – Title 21, U.S.C., Section 841(a)(1) Maximum penalty: Mandatory minimum 10 years in prison up to life


San Diego Sheriff’s Office

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Narcotics Task Force


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

Updated August 6, 2020

Release Number: CAS20-0806-Steen