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Riverside County man who sold fentanyl to victim who died gets 20 years

USAF / Joshua Magbanua

A Riverside County man, who admitted to selling fentanyl to a 33-year-old man who ingested the powerful synthetic opioid and suffered a fatal overdose, was sentenced today to 20 years in federal prison.  

Sergio Maya, 33, of Lake Elsinore, was sentenced in Los Angeles federal court by U.S. District Judge Mark C. Scarsi, who also ordered him to pay $19,848 in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Maya pleaded guilty in February to one federal count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. The 20-year prison sentence is the maximum possible penalty under federal law.

On the early morning of May 26, 2022, Maya met the victim -- identified in court documents as C.A. -- near the victim's Lake Elsinore apartment and knowingly sold fentanyl to the victim. Later that day, the victim used the fentanyl and suffered a fatal overdose.  

"The recklessness of this defendant resulted in the victim's untimely death and (left) his loved ones in mourning,'' U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said in a statement. "Today's 20-year prison sentence sends a message to drug dealers who kill their customers that my office will seek and obtain the stiffest penalties under the law."  

Riverside County District Attorney Michael A. Hestrin commended the work of federal prosecutors.

"We are deeply appreciative of our ongoing partnership with the U.S. Attorney's Office in combating perpetrators who distribute deadly fentanyl within our community,'' he said.

"Our collaboration with the U.S. Attorney's Office on cases incorporating federal statutes often allows for more significant prison sentences for these dangerous criminals. I extend my sincere gratitude to our dedicated staff for their diligent investigation of the Maya case, and to the U.S. Attorney's Office for their successful prosecution efforts. I hope this verdict brings some measure of closure and justice to the victim's family members."

Article Topic Follows: Fentanyl Crisis

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