San Diego

Woman Arrested in Fentanyl Distribution Operation Sentenced to Probation

A pill press and more than 1 million deadly doses of fentanyl were found in the woman's shared apartment, but prosecutors couldn't prove she was the ring leader of the operation

Hazmat investigators work to decontaminate a University City apartment unit where 1.5 million deadly doses of fentanyl were seized.

A woman arrested in September following her boyfriend’s deadly fentanyl overdose in their shared apartment – where DEA agents seized enough fentanyl to kill 1.5 million people – was sentenced to probation Tuesday.

Rose Griffin and her boyfriend Gregory Bodemer both overdosed on fentanyl at their home at the Canyon Crest Apartments off Genesee Avenue in University City Sept. 27.

Police, medics, the DEA and a hazmat crew responded to the apartment after the initial 911 call.

In addition to the several million deadly doses of fentanyl, investigators found evidence of a pill press operation, several vaping cartridges laced with fentanyl, and proof illicit drugs were being purchased online from China, according to prosecutors.

Bodemer was pronounced dead at the scene -- a fentanyl-laced vape was discovered near his body – and Griffin was hauled away in an ambulance.

Fentanyl is 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, according to the DEA. Carfentanyl, a fentanyl analogue, is 100 times stronger than fentanyl and can be lethal in micro doses. It took more than 12 hours for the hazmat crew to decontaminate the unit.

Deputy District Attorney Jorge Del Portillo said there wasn't enough evidence to prove Griffin was the ring leader in the operation she Bodemer had in their apartment.


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Griffin, who’s been in custody since the overdose, has already served enough time to fulfill the 160-day sentence a judge handed down to her Tuesday. She will now spend three years on probation and is awaiting admission into a residential treatment facility. 

Prosecutors originally said nearly 5 pounds of fentanyl were seized from the apartment, but Portillo said the exact weight is unknown. He did, however, reiterate it was enough to kill nearly everyone in San Diego.

Six grams of carfentanyl, enough to kill around 330,000 people, were found in Griffin’s purse, Portillo said.

Also unknown, according to Portillo, is who the cartridges and pills were being sold to. Investigators also couldn’t prove any of the drugs ever went outside of the apartment.

Portillo said people should be on the lookout for pills pressed with a cat face and a woman's silhouette because they could be laced with fentanyl.

Bodemer was a former adjunct chemistry professor at Cuyamaca College and also worked at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, from February 2010 to May 2013.

A neighbor told NBC 7 following the overdose incident she'd recently noticed odd behavior at the apartment. She said Bodemer was once a family man, but said things changed about two years ago when his children and their mother moved out.

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