Drug Enforcement Administration

Los Angeles

David Downing, Special Agent in Charge

May 21, 2018

Contact: SA Timothy Massino

Phone Number: (213) 621-6700

Long Beach Man Sentenced To Over 26 Years In Prison For Role In Narcotics Conspiracy Involving Powerful Opioid Acetylfentanyl

LOS ANGELES - A former Los Angeles resident has been sentenced to 320 months in federal prison for participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy that imported acetylfentanyl, a drug very similar to fentanyl, a powerful and highly addictive opioid. Acetylfentanyl, which is five times more potent that heroin, is not approved for any use in the United States. The sentencing stems from an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Christopher Bowen, 32, was sentenced today for his role in a conspiracy to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute, and distribute four narcotics, specifically: acetylfentanyl; a-pyrrolidinovalerophenone, a so-called designer drug also known as “PVP” that is sometimes used in “bath salts”; ecstasy; and alprazolam, also sold under the brand name Xanax.

United States District Judge S. James Otero imposed the prison sentence, and remarked that the seriousness of the sentence reflected the quantities of drugs seized by investigators. During the investigation, DEA agents seized more than 11 kilograms of acetylfentanyl from the organization, which obtained pill presses from China that were used illegally to make tablets in a storage unit in Long Beach and a house in Baldwin Park.

Bowen was sentenced after being convicted on two counts following a jury trial in October 2017. The evidence presented during a trial in United States District Court showed that Bowen and other members of the drug organization imported acetylfentanyl from China, which they then used to produce homemade pills designed to look like legitimate pharmaceuticals. Bowen and his co-conspirators then distributed the pills in bulk across the nation.

The leader of the organization - Gary Resnik, 32, of Long Beach - pled guilty in August 2017 and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Otero on July 9, 2018.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael G. Freedman of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Section and David Ryan of the General Crimes Section.

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