An illegal alien from Mexico caught with enough fentanyl to kill hundreds of thousands of people has been sentenced to 74 months in federal prison.
An announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi — which is led by U.S. attorney Mike Hurst — details that 53-year-old Mexican national Pablo Vega-Ontanon received the sentence from U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden following his conviction for possession with intent to distribute. Once his prison term is up, he will be subject to five years of supervised release.
While illegally residing in Georgia, Vega-Ontanon came to Gulfport, Mississippi, to sell heroin in November 2018, the release explains. He and two other eventual co-defendants claimed to have 10 kilograms of heroin hidden in their car. Unbeknownst to them, however, they were selling to a confidential informant. They were subsequently arrested, and the substance was later found to contain nine kilograms of heroin and one kilogram of fentanyl.
Both of his co-defendants have pled guilty to federal charges.
Fentanyl is an extremely potent opioid and a key driver of illicit drug deaths. Just a tiny amount of it can kill someone. According to the DEA, “as little as two milligrams is a lethal dosage in most people.”
The U.S. attorney’s release said that the amount of fentanyl seized in this bust “can produce half a million fatal doses.”