Distributor of More than 100 Pounds of Fentanyl Sentenced to Almost Six Years in Prison
SAN DIEGO – Ernesto Renteria of Chula Vista was sentenced in federal court today to 71 months in custody for distributing more than 100 pounds of deadly fentanyl plus fentanyl analogues, cocaine and methamphetamine.
According to his plea agreement, in May 2021, Renteria stored large quantities of the federally controlled substances at his house in Chula Vista and was shipping them to distributors across the country via UPS. In total, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents seized from Renteria 49.1 kilograms (108.2 pounds) of fentanyl; seven kilograms of cocaine; four kilograms of fentanyl analogue; and 1.8 kilograms of methamphetamine. Agents also seized packaging materials and GPS tracking devices.
This seizure of fentanyl is yet another example of drug cartels pushing huge quantities of fentanyl into the San Diego community. DEA agents across the country have seized a record-high 12,000 pounds of fentanyl this year.
“The quantity of fentanyl DEA agents seized from Ernesto Renteria is disturbing,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Shelly S. Howe. “Had DEA not seized these deadly drugs prior to distribution, many Americans could have died from a fentanyl overdose. The DEA will continue to prioritize investigations targeting fentanyl drug traffickers to fight the growing number of overdose deaths in our country.”
“Fentanyl is an incredibly dangerous drug that is destroying lives and families in our community and across the nation,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Randy S. Grossman. “Our office will continue to aggressively prosecute those responsible for distributing this poison and profiting from the opioid epidemic.”
Fentanyl analogues like the ones possessed by Renteria are particularly dangerous because the chemical structure can be manipulated to increase the potency. Since 2018, fentanyl analogues have been temporarily classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule I controlled substance. The temporary schedule expires in February 2022.
AGENCY: United States Attorney’s Office