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Press Release

Trafficker Pleads Guilty to DistributingThousands of Fentanyl Pills

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

Assistant U. S. Attorney Sherri Walker Hobson (619) 961-0287


SAN DIEGO – Marcell Travon Robinson III of Riverside admitted in federal court today that he distributed thousands of fentanyl pills during a three-year period to multiple drug dealers in Southern California.

Robinson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute. He faces a 10-year minimum mandatory sentence to life in custody. He also agreed to forfeit $148,334 in cash and several firearms that were seized during the operation.

According to court records, Robinson was arrested by Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents in October 2018, following their investigation of fentanyl distributors. Homeland Security Investigation Special Agents worked with NCIS during the operation.

His sentencing is scheduled for August 23, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

“This is a very serious warning to dealers and users: You are gambling with your lives,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “To dealers, my office is very aggressively pursuing fentanyl distributors. To users, the drugs you are taking probably are not what you think. They are likely to be laced with deadly fentanyl, and may be the last thing you ever do. Don’t make this costly mistake.”

“This plea comes on the heels of a critical seizure of fentanyl-laced pills sometimes being sold to users who presumed they were legitimate pills of oxycodone. Having this individual off the streets and away from being able to distribute these fatal drugs was a joint effort. The NCIS Southwest Field Office appreciates the assistance of our partners at HSI and CBP Air Division during the execution of multiple operations during the course of the investigation.”

DEFENDANT                                   Case Number 18cr5114       

Marcell Travon Robinson III             Age: 31           Riverside, California

SUMMARY OF CHARGES                                   Case Number

Count 1 – Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841 and 846

Maximum Penalty: Life in custody (Ten year minimum mandatory); $10 million fine

Counts 2 and 3 - Possession of Fentanyl with Intent to Distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841

 Maximum Penalty:  life in custody (Ten year minimum mandatory); $10,000,000 fine; supervised release; $100 special assessment).


Naval Criminal Investigative Service

Homeland Security Investigations


Updated June 20, 2019

Press Release Number: CAS19-0620-Robinson