Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

January 31, 2019

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7900

Three Butte County residents indicted for trafficking in fentanyl-laced pills

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a three-count superseding indictment today against Guillermo Jose Leon Ramirez, 41, of Oroville; Justin James Garcia, 44, of Oroville; and William Lee Vollendroff, 43, of Palermo, charging them with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and two counts of distribution of fentanyl, announced U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Chris Nielsen, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott, and Butte County Sheriff Kory L. Honea.

According to court documents, during two separate drug deals the defendants sold more than 1,000 fentanyl-laced pills that were made to look like oxycodone pills to a confidential source. Fentanyl is a very potent synthetic opiate that is 100 times more potent than morphine and can be extremely dangerous due to the small amount of the substance needed for the user to overdose.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force (BINTF), the DEA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the California Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Spencer is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, the defendants each face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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