Federal Jury Returns Guilty Verdict in Fatal Fentanyl Overdose Case
SAN DIEGO - A federal jury returned a guilty verdict today convicting Jahvaris Lamoun Springfield of selling Brendan James Gallagher fentanyl pills that resulted in Gallagher’s fatal overdose on February 5, 2019. Springfield is scheduled to be sentenced on December 14, 2021, by U.S. District Judge Larry Alan Burns.
The evidence presented at trial showed that Gallagher, age 26 at the time of his death, began using drugs after he returned from serving in Afghanistan at age 23. Although Gallagher moved from Boston to San Diego in 2018 in an attempt to break his addiction, he began taking counterfeit OxyContin pills in late 2018. On the afternoon of February 5, 2019, Gallaher sent text messages seeking to purchase OxyContin pills. In Gallagher’s bedroom, agents found two counterfeit OxyContin pills that tested positive for fentanyl. Gallagher’s autopsy showed a fatal concentration of fentanyl in his blood. In the days and weeks after Gallagher’s death, agents obtained evidence showing that Springfield sold Gallagher pills on February 5, 2019, and at the time of Springfield’s arrest, agents found counterfeit OxyContin pills that tested positive for fentanyl in the vehicle he was driving.
“It saddens me to see another young person - someone who served our country - lose their life to counterfeit fentanyl pills,” said Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery. “Parents, brothers, sisters, friends: please talk to your loved ones about the dangers of counterfeit pills. These pills look identical to legitimate prescription pills, but they contain deadly fentanyl. And if someone you know suffers from addiction, we implore you to help them seek treatment. Although DEA will continue to bring these dealers of death to justice, we need your help to end this epidemic.”
“This case is a tragic example of the counterfeit fentanyl pill scourge that is killing more and more young people, robbing them of their futures,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “Our entire community should be forewarned that if you take a fake pill, you are playing Russian Roulette with your life. Just one fentanyl-laced pill can kill, and when that occurs, we will follow the supply chain and use every available criminal tool to combat this deadly epidemic and stop these tragic losses.”
DEA Narcotic Task Force Team 10 led the investigation in this case. Team 10 is a specialty unit, with investigators from DEA, HSI, FBI, San Diego Police Department, the California Department of Health Care Services and the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, that investigates overdose deaths in San Diego. Team 10 responds to the discovery of overdose victims and aggressively pursues criminal cases, up the distribution chain, against the dealers and their sources of supply.
For those who suffer from addiction, help is available by calling the Crisis line at 888-724-7240.
AGENCIES: United States Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, San Diego Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, California Department of Health Care Services, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office