Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty to Selling Counterfeit Pills that Caused Death of Thirty-Five-Year-Old
SAN DIEGO – Drug dealer Saul Caro pleaded guilty in federal court today, admitting that he sold the fentanyl that caused the fatal overdose of a thirty-five-year-old San Diego resident, identified in court records as M.S.
According to his plea agreement, on April 11, 2021, Caro and the victim exchanged text messages to coordinate the sale of counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl. Caro delivered the pills to M.S.’s residence.
M.S. died in his apartment sometime on the evening of April 11, 2021. Caro admitted that the pills he gave to M.S. caused his death. When a search warrant was executed at Caro’s residence, a loaded, unregistered, semi-automatic privately manufactured firearm with no serial number, or “ghost gun” was located along with other drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Prior to this meeting, Caro had sold the counterfeit oxycodone pills to M.S., and the victim had told Caro that some of the pills had caused him severe unintended effects.
“Deaths caused by fentanyl continue to rise in San Diego County as the cartels and drug dealers, such as Saul Caro, drive addiction,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Shelly S. Howe. “In response, DEA has increased the number of investigators on our Overdose Response Team, making us laser focused on pursuing dealers who distribute deadly fentanyl.”
“Drug dealers are playing with fire when they sell illicit drugs because deadly fentanyl is everywhere. Dealers beware: the counterfeit pills or powder you sell will inevitably be laced with fentanyl. If you provide the fatal pill or powder, you will be held responsible for the victim’s death,” said United States Attorney Randy S. Grossman.
“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Diego, along with the DEA and our San Diego law enforcement partners, are prioritizing investigations targeting both the drug cartels who are smuggling fentanyl into the United States and the local dealers who peddle this lethal drug within our community,” said HSI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Chad Plantz.
Caro is scheduled to be sentenced on September 19, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel
The DEA created the Overdose Response Team due to the increase in overdose deaths in San Diego County. The team investigates the distribution of dangerous illegal drugs—fentanyl in particular—that result in overdose deaths. The team consists of investigators from DEA, HSI, FBI, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, San Diego Police Department, La Mesa Police Department and the State of California Department of Health Care Services.
AGENCIES: United States Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, San Diego Police Department, La Mesa Police Department, State of California Department of Health Care Services