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Press Release

Young man faces life for selling Fentanyl-laced pills causing death

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

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 21-year-old Corpus Christi man has entered a guilty plea to delivery of Fentanyl resulting in death, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Ricardo Julyan Kross Rios aka Kross acknowledged he possessed and delivered a substance containing a detectable amount of Fentanyl (a schedule II controlled substance), the use of which resulted in the death of a person.

On Dec. 10, 2022, authorities responded to a reported drug overdose and discovered a non-responsive individual pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy later determined the cause of death was acute Fentanyl toxicity. 

The investigation led to the discovery that the victim had purchased pills from Rios who then delivered them Dec. 9, 2022, to a parking lot where a party was occurring. The victim consumed them during that event. 

Witnesses described the pills as “press made” hydrocodone pills which may have contained Fentanyl. 

On Jan. 17, law enforcement encountered Rios at a residence in Corpus Christi in possession of a plastic bag containing “pressed” pills as well as some additional loose powder and partial pills. Laboratory analysis later confirmed the pills and powder in the plastic bag did contain Fentanyl. 

As part of his plea, Rios admitted to selling counterfeit “pressed” hydrocodone pills similar those found in his possession on Jan. 17 to the victim on the evening of Dec. 9, 2022.

U.S. District Judge David S. Morales will impose sentencing Oct. 17. At that time, Rios faces a minimum of 20 years and up to life in prison as well as a possible $1 million fine.


The Drug Enforcement Administration led the cooperative law enforcement effort targeting Fentanyl with the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations, Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Office and police departments in Corpus Christi, Aransas Pass and Mathis. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert D. Thorpe Jr. is prosecuting this case. 

Updated July 26, 2023

Drug Trafficking