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June 28, 2021Las Vegas, NV, United StatesNarcotics

Las Vegas man indicted for distributing fentanyl resulting in death

LAS VEGAS – A Las Vegas man was indicted by a federal grand jury Monday for distributing fentanyl that caused the death of another person.

The multi-agency effort, led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department resulted in the June 23, arrest.

Gabriel Ulloa, 29, distributed fentanyl to the 27-year-old victim, who believed he was buying oxycodone pills from Ulloa, according to the indictment and allegations made at the initial court appearance. The victim died as a result of ingesting the drugs.

“This indictment signifies a positive step in the ongoing battle that we continue to fight against the devastating impact that opioids have had on our communities,” said Francisco Burrola, special agent in charge (SAC) for HSI Las Vegas. “Local law enforcement partners who work side-by-side with HSI, along with the support from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, remain strongly committed to the fight against dealers of fentanyl and other dangerous drugs that have plagued communities throughout Nevada.”

Classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug that is approximately 80-100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. A few milligrams of fentanyl, which is equivalent to a few grains of table salt, may be deadly.

Ulloa is charged with one count of distribution of a controlled substance. Ulloa made his initial appearance on June 25, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Brenda Weksler, who scheduled a jury trial for Aug. 23. If convicted, Ulloa faces a statutory minimum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, and a statutory maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $10,000,000 fine.

An indictment merely alleges that a crime has been committed. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada, HSI SAC Burrola, and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Daniel Neill for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Major Violators Narcotics Crimes Bureau, Overdose Response Team, which comprises HSI, DEA, and the Henderson Police Department.

This case was part of the Southern Nevada’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program that enhances and coordinates drug control efforts among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. The program provides agencies with coordination, equipment, technology and additional resources to combat drug trafficking and its harmful consequences in critical regions of the United States.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Sokolich is prosecuting the case.

Drug abuse affects communities across the nation, and opioid abuse continues to be particularly devastating. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that from 1999 to 2016, more than 630,000 people have died from drug overdoses. In 2016, 66 percent of drug overdose deaths involved an opioid. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of injury or death in the United States.

If you or someone you know suffers from addiction, please call the Lines for Life substance abuse helpline at 1-800-923-4357 or visit Phone support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also text “RecoveryNow” to 839863 between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Pacific time daily.

HSI is a directorate of ICE and 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 over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

To report a crime, call 866-347-2423 (TTY for hearing impaired: 802-872-6196).