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Press Release

Second Defendant Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Odessa Fentanyl Distribution

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

MIDLAND, Texas – An Odessa man was sentenced in a federal court in Midland to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, which resulted in the death of a local minor.

According to court documents, law enforcement and medical personnel responded to an Odessa residence for a suspected drug overdose on Oct. 2, 2023. The 16-year-old male victim was found nonresponsive and was transported to the hospital where he later died. Forensic pathologist reports and the medical examiner confirmed fentanyl as the cause of death.

An investigation revealed that Nathaniel Martinez, 18, sold fentanyl pills to the juvenile the night before.

Codefendant Jae Lynn Esparza aka Nova, 22, also of Odessa was identified as the supplier of the pills. Esparza was sentenced on March 7 to 20 years in federal prison for her role in the fentanyl conspiracy causing death.

“The substantial sentences handed down in this case reflect the gravity of it, but the punishment cannot bring back the child who died,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas. “This death of a child is a recurring nightmare for far too many parents and families across this country who are losing loved ones to fentanyl. We will continue to vigorously pursue and prosecute the suppliers and dealers of this deadly drug.”

The Odessa Police Department investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Mahoney prosecuted the case.


Updated April 8, 2024

Drug Trafficking