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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 6, 2023

Fentanyl Distribution Nets West Texas Man 12 Years in Federal Prison

MIDLAND, Texas – An Odessa man was sentenced yesterday to 151 months in prison for distributing fentanyl.

In late 2021, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) received information that Jesus Arevalo, 44, received and distributed kilograms of cocaine and fentanyl in the Midland – Odessa region.  The DEA and FBI consequently opened a joint investigation through which undercover agents made multiple purchases of blue M30 pills containing fentanyl from Arevalo. 

While executing a search warrant of Arevalo’s residence in July 2022, investigators seized approximately 517 grams of M30 pills containing fentanyl, a loaded handgun and a large amount of U.S. currency.  Further investigation revealed that Arevalo had received and distributed at least 2,000 M30 pills containing fentanyl each month in the six months leading up to the search, totaling at least 12,000 fentanyl-laced M30 pills.

Arevalo pleaded guilty on September 27, 2022 to one count of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing fentanyl. He has been in federal custody since his arrest on July 28, 2022.

“Fentanyl has continued to kill too many people for far too long,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza. “It is a priority for our office to bring fentanyl traffickers to justice, disrupt their operations, and save lives.”

“Fentanyl continues to flood the United States at an alarming rate and our West Texas communities are not immune from its devastation,” said Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey R. Downey of the FBI El Paso Field Office.  “This case demonstrates our commitment to address the dangerous trafficking of fentanyl. We will continue to work with our partners at the DEA and state and local law enforcement partners to interdict the distribution of fentanyl wherever it may occur and bring to justice those who are fueling the epidemic.”

In 2022, the DEA seized more than 50.6 million fake pills often laced with fentanyl, more than double the amount of fentanyl pills seized in 2021.

“The dealers distributing illicit fentanyl do not care if they drive addiction or indiscriminately poison Americans,” said Special Agent in Charge Greg Millard of the DEA El Paso Field Office. “Their business model is expansion at all costs. But we know who they are, and we will relentlessly go after them.”

The FBI and DEA investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Mahoney prosecuted the case with Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Tindall handling the forfeiture component.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated January 6, 2023