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February 8, 2024Corpus Christi, TX, United StatesNarcotics, Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives

Brothers receive significant sentences for manufacturing deadly fentanyl-laced pills disguised as pain meds

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Two brothers have been sentenced to 35 years in federal prison for their roles in a drug trafficking organization that manufactured and distributed tens of thousands of fentanyl-laced pills disguised as legitimate pharmaceutical-grade pain medications.

The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation that led to the lengthy sentences was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Corpus Christi; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Corpus Christi Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Chad Williams Wesevich, 40, and his brother Jamie Wesevich, 41, both residents of Corpus Christi, were sentenced Feb. 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to serve 360, 240 and 60 months, respectively, for conspiracy to manufacture and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The sentences for drug trafficking and money laundering are to be served concurrently, while the firearms sentences are to be served consecutively with the rest of their sentences for a total of 35 years in prison. Both brothers pleaded guilty to the charges in August 2023.

In imposing the sentences, 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 the pills.

Between 2017 and 2021, the brothers 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 pills were distributed through a network of trusted associates throughout Corpus Christi and the surrounding area and have been 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.

For more news and information on HSI’s efforts to aggressively investigate drug trafficking, money laundering and other transnational criminal activity in Southeast Texas follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, @HSIHouston.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.