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Press Release

Lakeside Gang Member Indicted in Fentanyl Overdose Death

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

Assistant U. S. Attorney Mark Conover (619) 546-6763, Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Finn (619) 546-7342



SAN DIEGO – Documented Lakeside gang member Uriah Odish was indicted by a federal grand jury for selling fentanyl that led to the death of a 25-year-old La Mesa woman, identified in court documents only as T.H., who was found dead in her home on January 23.

“There is a raging opioid epidemic in this country, and we want dealers to be on notice: Every time we have an overdose death, we are going to come looking for you,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed the Department to use all available criminal and civil tools to combat this deadly epidemic. We are firmly committed to this endeavor and will do everything in our power to stop these tragic losses.”

 “By holding dealers accountable for the deaths of overdose victims, we bring justice to loved ones and reaffirm to all those dealing in death that we will not let it go unpunished,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Karen I. Flowers.  

Odish, 28, made an appearance in federal court this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin. The defendant declined to seek bond and remains in custody. His next hearing is scheduled for May 4.

Odish is the fourth person since January to be charged in the Southern District of California with Distribution of Fentanyl Resulting in the Death. The other cases include:

  • On March 16, 2018, Corey Green was charged with distribution of fentanyl resulting in the death of a Fallbrook man. Two days before he was found dead on the floor of his home, he’d told his wife he’d been sober for 100 days. She called 911 but it was too late.
  • On March 2, 2018, Kyle Shephard was charged with distribution of fentanyl resulting in the death of a 25-year-old Marine Corporal at Camp Pendleton. According to the complaint, Shephard distributed fentanyl pills to the Marine Corporal with Shephard acknowledging that the pills could lead to an overdose.
  • Max Gaffney was arrested January 29, 2018, and charged with distribution of heroin resulting in death.  According to the indictment, Gaffney distributed heroin on February 16, 2017, which resulted in the death of a person identified only as K.R.

According to court records, Odish has numerous arrests and at least one prior drug felony.  As a result of his prior felony drug offense, Odish could face a mandatory sentence of life in prison for the distribution of fentanyl resulting in death.

The United States faces the deadliest drug crisis in history. Approximately 64,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses in 2016 – the highest drug death toll and the fastest increase in that death toll in American history.  This epidemic is being driven primarily by opioids – prescription painkillers, heroin, and synthetic drugs like fentanyl.  For Americans under the age of 50, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death.

In February, Braverman announced the appointment of a criminal and civil coordinator to implement our strategy to combat opioids. The newly designated Opioid Coordinators will make prosecution of all prescription opioids, heroin and fentanyl a top priority, including civil cases involving illegal diversion and unlawful prescribing of these drugs.

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 these cases. Braverman thanked the La Mesa Police Department for its support in this new 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 18-CR-1812-BTM                                        

Uriah Odish                                        Age: 28          


Distribution of Fentanyl Resulting in Death – Title 21, U.S.C., Section 841(b)(1)(C)

Maximum penalty: Mandatory minimum 20 years in prison up to life


La Mesa Police Department

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Narcotics Task Force

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


Updated April 11, 2018

Press Release Number: CAS18-0311-Odish