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Press Release

El Paso Fentanyl Dealer Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison

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

EL PASO, Texas – An El Paso man was sentenced in a federal court in El Paso to 240 months in prison for distribution of a controlled substance causing serious bodily injury.

According to court documents, Patrick Harley Chaires, 28, sold a counterfeit M-30 pill containing fentanyl on Jan. 10. The purchaser consumed the pill and overdosed due to fentanyl poisoning. The victim was revived after receiving medical care and Naloxone. Chaires was arrested on Jan. 25 as the result of a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation.

“The victim in this case is incredibly fortunate that they were able to receive the necessary medical care following their overdose,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas. “Everyone must be aware of, and take seriously, the dangers of fentanyl and its abundant presence in counterfeit pills being sold on the streets and through social media. As long as fentanyl distribution persists, we will continue to heavily prosecute those responsible for poisoning our communities.”

“This 20-year sentence sends a clear message to everyone in our community,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Eric Castañeda for the DEA’s El Paso Division. “The DEA is laser-focused on one goal – saving American lives. Regardless of the quantity of illicit drugs you sell, if you hurt someone in the process, we will build a case against you, and bring this elevated charge to our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s office for your prosecution.”

This case was investigated by the Fentanyl Overdose Response Team (FORT) of the DEA’s El Paso Division, which is a West Texas HIDTA Initiative. FORT is comprised of law enforcement personnel from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, Department of Army Criminal Investigations Division, Texas Army National Guard, Texas Department of Public Safety, El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, and El Paso Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Countryman prosecuted the case.


Updated October 27, 2023

Drug Trafficking