Mount Vernon woman sentenced to prison for distribution of fentanyl-laced pills

A 23-year-old Mount Vernon woman has been sentenced to seven years in prison for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington.

Officials said Rosaliana Lopez-Rodgriguez sold counterfeit oxycodone pills tainted with fentanyl in Skagit and Whatcom counties. Those pills were reportedly linked to at least two overdoses, one that involved the death of a 17-year-old from Bellingham.

“This defendant continued to sell deadly fentanyl pills to a teenager, even after learning that the teenager’s friend almost died from an overdose,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. “Overdose deaths in this country are at an all-time high from fentanyl. Those who sell it with such a casual disregard for human life need to face significant sanctions.”

According to court records, a family member found the teen unresponsive on Nov. 9, 2019, but medics who arrived at the scene were not able to save him. He was later determined to have died of a fentanyl overdose.

A whole and a partial pill, designed to look like oxycodone 30-milligram pills, were found near the teen by investigators, officials stated.

As for Lopez-Rodriguez, she and the man who supplied her with the pills, 22-year-old Jiovanni Nunez, was arrested in November and December of 2019 and have been in custody since.

The release stated that Lopez-Rodriguez also admitted to selling an undercover officer fentanyl pills, which she said she received from Nunez.

During law enforcement’s investigation, they found two and a half fentanyl pills at Lopez-Rodriguez’s home and also found a safe containing hundreds of fake oxycodone pills at Nunez’s home. Those pills reportedly looked like the fentanyl-laced pills linked to the fatal overdose.

According to the release, Lopez-Rodriguez admitted to investigators that Nunez had given her the pills that killed the Bellingham teen.

Nunez is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 1.