FRESNO, Calif. — Jonathon Cortez, 24, of Fresno, was sentenced today to five years in prison for conspiring to distribute hundreds of fentanyl pills, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, in August 2020, federal and local law enforcement officers from the Fentanyl Overdose Resolution Team were investigating Cortez’ associate for selling fentanyl pills. On August 24, 2020, officers searched this associate’s car, person and residence and found hundreds of fentanyl pills that looked like oxycodone pills with an “M” stamped on one side and a “30 ” the other. Further investigation revealed that Cortez provided these fentanyl pills. On December 14, 2021, Cortez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Fentanyl Overdose Resolution Team, a multi-agency team comprised of Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin J. Gilio prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (SOS), a program designed to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high-impact areas, as well as identify wholesale distribution networks and international and domestic suppliers. . In July 2018, the Department of Justice announced the creation of SOS, which is implemented in the Eastern District of California and nine other federal districts.

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