KAUFMAN, Texas — 24-year-old Brandon Montoya of Kaufman, Texas, was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison for trafficking enough fentanyl to kill millions of people, prosecutors announced yesterday.
According to a plea agreement, 22-year-old Felipe Rodriguez of McAllen, Texas, was driving on eastbound Interstate 20 when he was stopped by a Louisiana State Police trooper on Mat 10, 2018. Montoya was a passenger in the vehicle.
During a search of the vehicle, troopers discovered 10 one-kilogram packages containing pure fentanyl and a fentanyl derivative.
"Rodriguez and Montoya told agents they were approached in Mexico about work, asked to drive to California to obtain the drugs and then take the drugs to Atlanta, Georgia, where they would be paid for the delivery," stated a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Texas. "The defendants understood that the work they were asked to do meant transporting the deadly narcotics."
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to prosecutors.
"This case alone involved enough fentanyl to kill every person in the state of Louisiana," stated U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph.
Montoya and Rodriguez were sentenced by Elizabeth E. Foote to 63 months in prison and five years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Both defendants pleaded guilty on September 13, 2018.