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Press Release

Twenty-Six-Year-Old California Man to Serve 42 Months for Supplying Fentanyl that Caused Wise County Teen Overdoses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Jorge Perez Mailed Packages of Fentanyl from California to Virginia

ABINGDON, Va. – A California man, who conspired with others to supply fentanyl linked to teenage overdoses that occurred in Wise County, Virginia, was sentenced this week to 42 months in federal prison.

Jorge Efrain Perez, 25, of Anaheim, California, pled guilty in January 2023 to one count of conspiring to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl.

According to court documents, between November 2020 and June 2022, Perez, along with Alexander Ortiz and Destiny Raeann Perez, supplied thousands of pressed pills containing fentanyl to Paul Mason Perkins, Aaron Stidham, Austin Jeremiah Lane, Cheyenne Cassie Carico, and others, all drug dealers in Southwest Virginia.

Every few weeks, Perkins and Stidham used Snapchat and Instagram to buy thousands of fentanyl-laced pills from Ortiz.  Both Jorge Perez and Destiny Perez assisted Ortiz by mailing the illicit packages from California to Big Stone Gap and Appalachia, Virginia.  The pair then re-sold the deadly pills to other individuals throughout Wise County, including multiple sales to co-conspirators Lane and Carico.  According to the evidence, Jorge Perez’s debit card was used over 150 times to mail illicit packages to Virginia. 

On November 24, 2021, Lane and Carico sold pills to a 17-year-old female they knew from school who subsequently overdosed and was hospitalized later that night after ingesting those pills.  On the same night, an 18-year-old male was also hospitalized due to a drug overdose.  Further investigation revealed that pills from both overdoses were linked to Ortiz and had been shipped to Virginia by Jorge Perez.  

Last week, Ortiz was sentenced to 17 years in prison for his role in the conspiracy.  Destiny Perez was previously sentenced to 9 years in prison. 

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh, Craig B. Kailimai, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division, and Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Atlanta Division, made the announcement.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the United States Postal Inspection Service investigated the case, with assistance from the Orange County (CA) Sheriff’s Department, Stanislaus County (CA) Sheriff’s Department, and Anaheim (CA) Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lena L. Busscher prosecuted the case. 

Updated December 15, 2023

Drug Trafficking