LUBBOCK, Texas — Three Lubbock residents were arrested Thursday on a federal criminal complaint charging them with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid.
These arrests were announced at a news conference hosted by the following agency heads: U.S. Attorney John Parker, Northern District of Texas; District Attorney Matt Powell, Lubbock County; Chief Greg Stevens, Lubbock Police Department; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Calvin Bond, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Resident Agent in Charge Charles Cobb, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Lubbock; Chief Deputy Mike Reed, Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office; and Regional Commander Gary Albus, Texas Department of Public Safety.
Sidney Caleb Lanier, 36, was arrested at his home on 154th Street. Jessica Christine Holl, 28, and Jamie Marie Robertson, 32, were arrested at their apartment on 4th Street. A date and time for their initial appearances has not been set yet.
According to the criminal complaint, from about January 2013 to Oct. 27, 2016, defendants Lanier, Holl and Robertson distributed a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance.
This law enforcement operation focused on distribution in the Lubbock area of the highly potent synthetic opioid, fentanyl. Fentanyl is responsible for a sharp increase in opioid deaths across the United States. It poses a high risk of death not only to users, but also to law enforcement personnel.
While fentanyl can serve as a direct substitute for heroin in opioid-dependent individuals, it is a dangerous substitute since it is 50 times more potent than heroin and results in frequent overdoses that can lead to respiratory depression and death. Cheaper than heroin, fentanyl can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin; just a few milligrams, equivalent to a few grains of table salt, may be deadly.
A federal criminal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged, and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The U.S. Attorney’s office has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment. The maximum statutory penalty for the offense charged is 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine.