Defendant Sentenced to 130 Months in Prison for Providing Deadly Dose of Fentanyl to Imperial County High School Student
SAN DIEGO – Lorenzo Anthony Garcia of Brawley, 23, was sentenced in federal court today to 130 months in prison and three years of supervised release for providing the fentanyl that caused the overdose death of Josue M. Garcia Moreno, a young football player from Central Union High School in Imperial County. When issuing the sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel noted the importance of ensuring a significant consequence to deter future similar acts, stating that “fentanyl is a drug so powerful that it takes a life in the blink of an eye. There is no recovery, no redress, no rehabilitation. Just misery.”
On October 8, 2021, Garcia pleaded guilty to knowingly selling Josue, a 15-year old high school student, a substance containing fentanyl on October 6, 2019. The plea agreement reflects that two days later, Josue’s great-grandfather, with whom he lived, discovered him lifeless. Garcia admitted that Josue used the fentanyl Garcia sold him at his grandfather’s home late in the evening or October 7, 2019 or early the following morning; he further stipulated that the fentanyl he provided caused Josue’s death. At the hearing, the prosecutor noted that even though Garcia was aware Josue had died, he thereafter arranged to sell fentanyl to another individual, a circumstance that Judge Curiel found “most troubling.”
“In the age of fentanyl, it’s critical that we all work together to educate teenagers about the dangers of drugs. Sadly, fentanyl cost Josue Garcia Moreno his life and the potential for a bright future,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Shelly S. Howe. “The DEA has resources available for parents, grandparents, and educators at www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov to assist in talking to teenagers about drugs. We urge families to use DEA’s resources and to advocate for drug education classes in your schools.”
“This case is a tragic reminder that a promising young life can vanish in an instant due to a single mistake with fentanyl,” said U.S. Randy Grossman. “It is vitally important to hold purveyors of this poison accountable, obtaining justice and closure for family members who face such a loss.”
The DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are working with multiple law enforcement and community partners to vigorously attack the fentanyl problem on all fronts, including interdiction, prosecution of cartel targets and local dealers, and prevention through harm reduction and education.
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