Fentanyl conspirator sentenced to more than 17 years in federal

Fentanyl conspirator sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Jessica Christine Holl, 29, of Lubbock, Texas, was sentenced this morning before Senior U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to 210 months in federal prison for her role in a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Holl pleaded guilty in March 2017 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and furanyl fentanyl. 

Co-defendants Sidney Caleb Lanier, 36, and Jamie Marie Robertson, 32, both of Lubbock, Texas, were both sentenced on June 9, 2017.  Lanier was sentenced to 135 months in federal prison following his guilty plea in February 2017 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl.  Robertson was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison following her guilty plea also in February 2017 to one count of unlawful use of a communications facility.

The defendants have been in custody since their arrest in October 2016 following a law enforcement operation led by Lubbock Police Department and special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration focused on the distribution in the Lubbock area of the highly potent synthetic opioid, fentanyl. 

“Fentanyl is responsible for a sharp increase in overdoses and deaths across the country and poses a very high risk of death to not only users, but law enforcement and first responders as well,” said U.S. Attorney Parker.  “Our local, state and federal partners will continue to push back hard on those who peddle this poison in our communities.”

While fentanyl can serve as a direct substitute for heroin in opioid-dependent individuals, it is a dangerous substitute as it is 50 times more potent than heroin and results in frequent overdoses that can lead to respiratory depression and death.  Cheaper than heroin, fentanyl can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin; just a few milligrams, equivalent to a few grains of table salt, may be deadly.

According to documents filed in this case, from approximately January 2013 to October 27, 2016, Lanier, Holl, and Robertson did knowingly and intentionally combine, conspire, confederate and agree with each other to intentionally distribute and possess with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance.  Lanier supplied Holl and Robertson with large amounts of Fentanyl he purchased online on the Darknet from China using Bitcoin, a digital currency.  The Fentanyl was shipped to various addresses in the Lubbock area, prepared by the defendants and sold for use.          

The case was investigated by the Lubbock Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Haag is in charge of the prosecution.

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