Third Defendant Sentenced to Almost 19 Years in Fentanyl Overdose Death of Longtime Rugby Player
SAN DIEGO – Andrew Samuel Daniel Gossai was sentenced in federal court today to 226 months in prison for supplying the fentanyl that led to the fatal overdose of 45-year old Derrick Hotchkiss, a longtime rugby player for the San Diego Old Aztecs Rugby Football Club.
Gossai, the last of three defendants to plead guilty in the case, admitted to distributing the fentanyl that caused the death and to selling in excess of 400 grams of fentanyl.
At today’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia noted the “severe costs the crime has brought to the community” and that the defendant was “up the chain of distribution and had a long history of selling drugs.” The defendant was “clearly aware of the risks” posed by fentanyl yet continued distributing the drug.
Gossai, who has a history of drug sales convictions dating back more than a decade, sold fentanyl despite recognizing the dangers associated with the drug. Upon his arrest, Gossai admitted to law enforcement that, despite his sales of fentanyl, he was “scared” by the drug. Upon executing a search warrant at Gossai’s residence, law enforcement seized fentanyl in powdered and pill form; a digital scale with powdered residue; drug paraphernalia; and other illicit narcotics.
"Justice has finally been served in the death of Derrick Hotchkiss due to the hard work of the men and women on DEA's NTF Team 10 and our law enforcement partners," said Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery. "This case is a stark reminder to people selling drugs: If the drugs you sell cause someone to die, we will bring you to justice."
Narcotics Task Force Team 10 is a multi-agency team housed by DEA that was created in July 2018 to address drug overdose deaths in San Diego. Agencies on Team 10 include DEA, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, California Department of Healthcare Services and San Diego Police Department.
“Fentanyl continues to plague our community, and tragic deaths such as that of Derrick Hotchkiss are increasing exponentially,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Randy S. Grossman. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement and community outreach partners to reverse this terrible trend.”
Previously, defendants Christopher Emison and Jeffrey Alden Blair were also sentenced in connection with Hotchkiss’ death to 168 and 188 months in custody respectively. According to the government’s sentencing papers, Gossai sold the fatal dose of fentanyl to Blair who made the purchase for both Emison and himself. In turn, Emison sold the fatal dose directly to Hotchkiss shortly before his overdose death.
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