Brothers Receive Significant Sentences for Manufacturing Deadly Fentanyl-Laced Pills Disguised as Pain Meds
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Two Corpus Christi brothers have been ordered to federal prison for manufacturing and distributing tens of thousands of fentanyl-laced pills disguised as legitimate pharmaceutical-grade pain medications, announced Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux of the Houston Division and U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Chad Williams Wesevich, 40, and his brother Jamie Wesevich, 41, pleaded guilty in August 2023 to conspiracy to manufacture and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
U.S. District Judge David S. Morales has now ordered both men to serve a total of 35 years in prison - 360 and 240 months concurrently on the drug and money laundering charges, respectively as well as a consecutive 60 months on the firearm charge. In imposing the sentence, the court noted the brothers possessed a network of friends and family who had said supportive and loving things in letters requesting leniency, but that those letters must be tempered against the facts that people had overdosed on these pills. “We can’t get those people back,” said Judge Morales.
“There were several overdose/fentanyl poisoning deaths tied to the Wesevich Drug Trafficking Organization,” said Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux of the Houston Division. “The exemplary work of DEA agents alongside our federal and state partners sought justice for the families of victims who lost their lives due to the poison spread by Chad Wesevich and his co-conspirators.”
“Synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, account for almost 70% of drug overdose deaths in the United States, and Corpus Christi is no stranger to this new epidemic,” said Hamdani. “The dismantling of this deadly drug trafficking organization, including the seizure of two industrial fentanyl pill presses, has made Corpus Christi a better and safer place to live.”
Between 2017 and 2021, Chad and Jamie Wesevich acquired equipment and materials from foreign sources, which were used to manufacture pills disguised as legitimate medications such as hydrocodone. The equipment included two industrial pill presses capable of producing 9,000 pills per hour.
The fraudulent hydrocodone was distributed through a network of trusted associates throughout Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas. The pills the Wesevich brothers manufactured were linked to several overdoses, both fatal and non-fatal.
As a result of this investigation, authorities seized tens of thousands of counterfeit hydrocodone pills containing over 1,500 grams of fentanyl as well as pill presses, pill dies, vacuums, separators and other tools used in the illicit production of fentanyl-laced pills. In addition, law enforcement seized seven vehicles, five houses, seven guns and $350,000 in cryptocurrency and bulk cash.
The brothers have been in custody since their arrests in May 2022 and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The DEA led the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation along with IRS Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, Corpus Christi Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with assistance of the Texas Department of Public Safety. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach leveraging the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found on the Department of Justice’s OCDETF webpage. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brittany Jensen and Tyler Foster prosecuted the case.