June 14, 2017
Contact: SA Elaine Cesare
Phone Number: (571) 324-7520
Lubbock Man Involved In Fentanyl Distribution Conspiracy Pleads Guilty In Federal Court
26-year-old male died of an overdose after purchasing furanyl fentanyl from the defendant
LUBBOCK, Texas - A Lubbock, Texas, man, Brian Landon Brown, 32, appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant Jr. and pleaded guilty to a federal offense stemming from his role in a fentanyl distribution conspiracy. The plea was announced jointly by Clyde E. Shelley, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas DEA Division and U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Brown pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute furanyl fentanyl. He faces a statutory penalty of not more than twenty years in federal prison and a $1 million fine. Judge Bryant recommended that the district court accept Brown’s guilty plea.
According to plea documents filed in the case, on October 17, 2016, Brown was arrested in Lubbock, on an unrelated arrest warrant. At the time of his arrest, Brown possessed a vial containing .291 net grams of furanyl fentanyl. Brown admitted that he typically sold several grams of furanyl fentanyl per day and that, several months before his arrest, he started selling at least 10 grams of furanyl fentanyl per day.
On October 6, 2016, at 2:30 p.m. Brown met a 26-year-old male and sold furanyl fentanyl to that individual. Around 4:15 - 4:30 a.m. on October 7, 2016, that same individual was discovered unconscious in a bathroom. At approximately 5:05 a.m. that same day, the individual was pronounced dead. The Lubbock County Medical Examiner did an autopsy and determined that the cause of death was drug toxicity from furanyl fentanyl. A postmortem forensic toxicology analysis revealed 1.9 nanograms per milliliter of furanyl fentanyl in the individual’s blood.
Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid analgesic that is about 30 to 40 times stronger than heroin and up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Besides analgesia, fentanyl produces a variety of pharmacological effects, including alteration in mood, euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, suppression of cough reflex, constriction of pupils, and impaired gastrointestinal mobility.
Furanyl fentanyl is a controlled substance analogue that has a chemical structure substantially similar to fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act, and has a stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic effect on the central nervous system that is substantially similar to or greater than the stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic effect on the central nervous system of fentanyl.
The case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Lubbock Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Haag and Russell Lorfing are in charge of the prosecution.