More Than Four Pounds of Fentanyl Lead to Prison for Two Men
OKLAHOMA CITY – JOSE AVIGAIL GRIJALVA, 26, of Tucson, Arizona, and RAYMEND LEE SCOTT, JR., 39, of Roswell, Georgia, have been sentenced to ten and seven years respectively for trafficking in fentanyl and cocaine, announced Robert J. Troester of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
According to court documents, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol stopped Grijalva and Scott for a traffic violation on Interstate 40 in western Oklahoma on April 10, 2017. A drug dog alerted to the back bumper. Troopers found 4.5 pounds of fentanyl and more than seven pounds of cocaine in the spare tire.
The next day, the District Attorney for Caddo County charged Grijalva and Scott with aggravated drug trafficking. A federal grand jury indicted the pair on May 18, 2017, on one count of conspiracy and one count of possessing cocaine with intent to distribute. After testing revealed the presence of fentanyl, the grand jury returned a two-count superseding indictment on June 20, 2017.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid typically prescribed in amounts less than a milligram. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in August 2018 that synthetic opioids other than methadone—a category dominated by fentanyl—were responsible for more than 29,000 of approximately 72,000 overdose deaths in the United States in 2017. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, 4.5 pounds of fentanyl, if pure, could kill as many as one million people.
Grijalva pleaded guilty to possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute on November 21, 2017. On February 27, 2018, Scott pleaded guilty to a superseding information that charged him with conspiring to traffic fentanyl and cocaine.
On September 6, 2018, Chief U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton sentenced Grijalva to 120 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Today Judge Heaton sentenced Scott to seven years in prison and three years of supervised release. Both have been in state or federal custody since their arrest in April 2017.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, with assistance from the District Attorney for Caddo, Grady, Jefferson, and Stephens Counties. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David McCrary and Jacquelyn M. Hutzell.
Reference is made to court filings for further information.