Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

September 01, 2017

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7994

U.S. District Court Enters Judgment Against Fugitive And Surety In Fentanyl Distribution Case

SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California entered judgment against fugitive defendant Candelaria Dagandan Vazquez and her surety Candelaria Antoinette Sapp in the amount of $50,000, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and DEA Special Agent-in-Charge John J. Martin. The Honorable Susan Illston, U.S. District Judge, entered the judgment after the defendant failed to appear for court proceedings.

On June 21, 2016, a federal grand jury indicted Vazquez, 39, of Richmond, California, for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and for distribution and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846. The complaint authorizing Vazquez’s arrest by federal authorities alleges that Vazquez and her co-defendant Kia Zolfaghari manufactured and sold counterfeit oxycodone pills online that were laced with fentanyl, a powerful opiate. Following her arrest, Vazquez was released on a pretrial bond of $50,000 co-signed by her daughter, Sapp, guaranteeing Vazquez’s appearance.

Vazquez absconded from her residence in Richmond, where she was required to reside, in April 2017, and failed to appear at her scheduled status conference on May 19, 2017. A warrant has been issued for her arrest and she remains a fugitive. 

The federal court therefore entered judgment on the bond against both Vazquez and her surety, Sapp, in the amount of $50,000. The entry of judgment essentially means the entire amount is due and payable immediately to the United States government. Further, pursuant to the terms of the bond, if the amount remains unpaid, the government retains the right to place liens on property owned by Sapp and to garnish Sapp’s wages to satisfy the judgment.

At the hearing on the government’s motion to enter judgment on the bond, which was held on August 25, 2017, the federal court observed that it retains the power to set aside some or all of the judgment against Sapp if Vazquez turns herself in or is arrested.

Vazquez’s co-defendant Kia Zolfaghari fled in April 2017 as well, and failed to appear at a hearing scheduled for a change of his plea. A warrant has issued for his arrest, and he remains a fugitive.  The government’s motion to enter judgment on Zolfaghari’s bond against both Zolfaghari and his surety Behrooz Zolfaghari is scheduled to be heard on October 27, 2017. 

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