Skip to main content
Press Release

Fallbrook Man Sentenced to 151 Months in Fentanyl Overdose Death

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


SAN DIEGO – Corey Bernard Green of Fallbrook was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia to 151 months in prison for distributing the fentanyl that caused the death of 34-year-old Joseth Adam Sellars on November 3, 2017.

On November 2, 2017, Sellars told his wife, Rebecca Sellars, that he had been sober for about 100 days.  Two days later, she woke up in the morning and found him lying face down on their living room floor. She called 911 but it was too late. Law enforcement arriving at the scene observed drug paraphernalia and a white powdery substance near his body.

The investigation of Sellars’ death found text messages between Sellars and Green indicating that Green had supplied heroin laced with fentanyl to Sellars on November 3, 2017, and that Sellars had taken an Uber to Green’s residence to pick up the substance.  Green was also determined to have conducted a Google search for information related to Sellars’ death, Fallbrook and November 3.

The Government’s sentencing papers noted that this case was a “prime example of the extraordinarily devastating impact that fentanyl, a drug far more potent than heroin, has on lives.”  Fentanyl is anywhere from 25 to 50 times more potent than heroin.  As Rebecca Sellars explained in a statement filed with the Government’s sentencing papers, “[i]n an instant, the earth stopped spinning, the sun ceased shining, and all I could see was a world that I didn’t want to live in anymore.”  During sentencing, Ms. Sellars told the Court that, while her husband was in treatment, she told Mr. Green directly to “leave my husband alone” and argued that this was, therefore not simply “a tragic accident.”  Indeed, on the morning she awoke and discovered her husband deceased from the overdose, Ms. Sellars said, “I woke up in a very good mood because I believed my husband was 102 days sober.”

 In imposing the 151 month sentence, Judge Battaglia explained that, “There is nothing more serious than the loss of life…”  He also noted that, “No matter what we do, it will not bring Mr. Sellars back” and that Ms. Sellars’ statement was “very impactful.” 

“As the opioid crisis continues to rage on, my office will zealously pursue cases against people who distribute fentanyl and other illicit drugs that, tragically, have the power to destroy lives,”  said U.S. Attorney Robert S. Brewer, Jr.  “I commend prosecutors Larry Casper and Tim Coughlin, the Sheriff’s Department, the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office for their outstanding work in this case.”

In June of 2017, the San Diego Sheriff's Department took proactive measures to identify, investigate and arrest individuals who were distributing dangerous substances, such as fentanyl laced cocaine and dangerous opiates, into our communities.  The Sheriff's Department began delegating resources in the initial stages of overdose investigations to develop critical evidence which might have been overlooked before the opioid crisis became a reality for many families.  It is the Sheriff's Department goal to remove these dangerous drugs from our streets and hold people like Corey Green accountable for endangering the lives of others with reckless abandon.

DEFENDANT                                    Case Number 18-cr-2249-AJB                                                       

Corey Bernard Green              Age: 42                       Fallbrook, California


Distribution of Fentanyl – Title 21 U.S.C. Section 841(a)

Maximum Penalty – 20 years in custody and $1 million fine


San Diego Sheriff’s Department

San Diego Sheriff’s Department Regional Crime Lab

San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office

San Diego District Attorney’s Office

United States Attorney’s Office


Assistant U.S. Attorneys Larry Casper (619) 546-6734 and Timothy Coughlin (619) 546-6768

Updated April 5, 2019

Press Release Number: CAS19-0405-Bernard Green