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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Online Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty in Fentanyl Overdose Death

Assistant U. S. Attorney Michael A. Deshong (619) 546-9290  

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – April 24, 2019

SAN DIEGO – Drug dealer Trevon Antone Lucas pleaded guilty in federal court today, admitting that he sold pills containing fentanyl to a La Jolla man, causing his fatal overdose last year.  

Lucas, a resident of Highland, California, admitted in his plea agreement that he posted online advertisements for the illegal sale of prescription pills. The victim responded to one of Lucas’ posts in 2017 and began purchasing various prescription pills from him.

According to his plea agreement, on the evening of June 29, 2018, Lucas met the victim and sold him nine “blues,” a slang term for prescription oxycodone pills, for $240.  The “blues” purchased from Lucas were counterfeit and contained deadly fentanyl.  The victim was found dead in his room the following morning.      

“This is what the deadly fentanyl crisis looks like at Ground Zero,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “It’s not some far off problem. It is a mother finding her son dead on the floor after he swallowed a substance so dangerous that in its purest form, even a tiny amount touching the skin can be deadly. Those who sell fentanyl resulting in death will be held accountable for their callous and reckless disregard for human life.”

Text messages between the victim and Lucas indicated that Lucas sold the counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl that caused the fatal overdose. Three other individuals, Cenlair Marie Fields, Kevin Vandale Chandler and Donovan Adontas Carter were  charged in the same indictment with conspiring with Lucas to distribute prescription hydrocodone pills.  All three have since pleaded guilty. 

Lucas is scheduled to be sentenced on July 19, 2019 before U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo. 

This case is the result of ongoing efforts by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, and multiple law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute the distribution of dangerous illegal drugs that result in overdose deaths.

Many opioid addicts start their addiction with legitimate prescription drugs. Drug cartels, looking to capitalize on the opioid epidemic, are making counterfeit prescription pills using deadly fentanyl.  More than 399,000 people died from opioid overdoses, including prescription and illicit opioids, from 1999-2017.

In July 2018, Narcotics Task Force Team 10 was created to address drug overdose deaths in San Diego County.  Team 10’s first investigation was the fentanyl drug overdose of this La Jolla man on June 30, 2018.  The victim was 38 years old and he left behind his mother and brother.

“These types of investigations are unique and are changing perceptions about drug use and addiction in the law enforcement community,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Karen Flowers. “Team 10 is bearing witness to the carnage and despair that each drug overdose victim leaves behind: families devastated, friends grief-stricken and the future of loved ones ripped away in an instant.  That alone is one of the hardest things in life to understand and accept.

“Today’s plea deal sends a powerful message to anyone seeking to profit from selling drugs,” Flowers said.  “If your client dies, the law will come for you and you will be prosecuted accordingly.  These men made choices that deprived them of their hopes and dreams in their futures. Trevon Lucas is 23 years old and he just pleaded guilty to a crime that requires a 20-year sentence in federal prison. For Team 10 investigators and our community, today is bittersweet.  Justice was served.”

The power to make a difference starts at home, beginning with returning unused, unwanted and expired medications susceptible to theft and abuse. This Saturday, April 27th, the DEA is providing a free and anonymous service to “Take Back” prescription drugs.  There will be over 6,000 DEA collection sites nationally.  DEA Take Back Day provides an actionable way for any American to step up and help combat this crisis by simply cleaning out their medicine cabinet.  To find a location near you, go to www.DEATAKEBACK.com.  Keep them safe.  Clean them out.  Take them back.

DEFENDANTS                                            Case Number 18cr4224-CAB         

Trevon Antone Lucas                                     Age: 23                                   Highland, CA

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

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

Maximum Penalty: Mandatory minimum 20 years’ imprisonment up to life

AGENCIES

Drug Enforcement Administration

San Diego Police Department

Homeland Security Investigations

California Department of Health Care Services

Federal Bureau of Investigation

San Diego County District Attorney’s Office

 

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Press Release Number: 
CAS19-0423-Lucas
Updated April 23, 2019