An online drug dealer who sold fentanyl-laced pills that caused the death of a La Jolla man in 2018 was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday.
Trevon Lucas pleaded guilty to distributing fentanyl that resulted in death in June 2019. He admitted to posting online advertisements to illegally sell prescription pills.
Lucas, a man in his 20s from Highland, California, was warned on two separate occasions -- once in 2017 and once in 2018 -- that his pills were counterfeit, according to the Office of the U.S. Attorney, Southern District of California. However, Lucas continued to sell them.
“Trevon Lucas knew the pills he was selling were deadly, but he sold them anyway, showing a remarkable disregard for the safety and well-being of his fellow human beings,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “His greed transcended his humanity, and for that he will serve a very long sentence.”
On June 29, 2018, Lucas met the victim and sold him nine oxycodone pills for $240, according to Lucas’ plea agreement. The pills were later deemed counterfeit and laced with fentanyl.
The following morning, the La Jolla man was found dead in his room by his mother. Investigators said his death was a result of a fentanyl overdose.
The victim was 37 years old, and he had recently obtained a bachelor’s degree in radiological sciences before his death. He left behind his mother and brother.
“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Karen Flowers. “The potential of their loved one will never be realized; but their hopes, dreams, love and laughter will forever be remembered. Earthly justice is a small measure of what awaits those who prey on the weak out of greed.”
Three San Bernardino-area residents -- Cenclair Fields, Kevin Chandler, and Donovan Carter -- have pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute with Lucas. They have all been sentenced.
Lucas’ case is part of ongoing collaborative efforts by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, and others to investigate drug deals that result in overdose death.
More than 399,000 people died from opioid overdoses, including prescription and illicit opioids, from 1999–2017, according to the Office of the U.S. Attorney, Southern District of California.