2 Men Get Lengthy Prison Terms for Drug Trafficking, Fentanyl Deaths

2 Men Get Lengthy Prison Terms for Drug Trafficking, Fentanyl Deaths

The Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana, Calif., on Oct. 22, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

City News Service

City News Service

4/30/2024

Updated: 4/30/2024

SANTA ANA, Calif.—A Westminster man and a Texas man were sentenced to lengthy federal prison terms April 29 for their part in a drug trafficking organization that peddled narcotics through the darknet and encrypted messaging apps.
Michael Ta, 25, of Westminster was sentenced to 21 years and eight months in prison by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter, who handed down a punishment of 19 years and seven months to 37-year-old Rajiv Srinivasan of Houston.
Mr. Ta pleaded guilty in August to a count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Mr. Srinivasan pleaded guilty in June to the same crime and to a count of distributing fentanyl resulting in death.
The two made at least 3,800 drug deals to about 1,400 customers in every state from February 2022 through November 2022, prosecutors said. About 123,000 fentanyl-laced M30 pills, more than nine kilograms of methamphetamine, nearly 300 grams of “China white” fentanyl powder and black tar heroin, and 27 grams of cocaine were dealt out, prosecutors said.
The two admitted they caused fentanyl overdose deaths to three victims, prosecutors said.
They also admitted to distributing fentanyl-laced pills to two more victims, who fatally overdosed, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said in a sentencing brief that “the five victims of defendants’ crimes ranged in age from 19 to 51. They lived across the country, from California to Florida, Colorado to Arkansas. Each of the five victims leaves behind a family that has been forever and fundamentally changed by defendants’ actions. [Mr. Ta and Mr. Srinivasan] also victimized countless others as part of an epidemic of addiction and despair plaguing our district and our country.”
Omar Navia, 39, of South Los Angeles, pleaded guilty in a related case to a count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. He said in his plea agreement that from August 2021 to December 2022 he sold fentanyl-laced pills and methamphetamine to Mr. Srinivasan and Mr. Ta’s customers, prosecutors said.
Mr. Navia is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 19. Co-defendant Adam Ruiz, 27, of Garden Grove, is awaiting trial.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.