A 31-year-old Simi Valley man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony count of selling fentanyl, authorities with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Alex Alvarado’s guilty plea stems from a Sept. 2022 investigation, in which narcotics detectives with the Simi Valley Police Department received a tip that the 31-year-old was selling the synthetic opioid. The investigation led to Alvarado’s arrest for multiple sales of fentanyl.
A search warrant executed at Alvarado’s residence also led to the discovery of both fentanyl and methamphetamine, a news release from the Ventura County DA’s Office noted. Officials did not provide any details on how much of the narcotics he was in possession of.
Fentanyl, which is estimated to be 50-100 times more potent than morphine, is highly addictive. The synthetic opioid is one of the most common drugs associated with overdose deaths in the United States.
According to the Ventura County Medical Examiner, 278 overdose deaths in the county were reported in 2022. Of those, 181 victims of the victims had fentanyl in their system.
“It is through diligent detective work and collaboration with the District Attorney’s Office that cases such as this are successfully prosecuted,” Deputy District Attorney Ethel Hernandez, a member of VCDA’s Narcotics Unit, said in the news release. “Of great importance is the Dangerous Drug Advisement that is given in fentanyl cases where the defendant must acknowledge that the substance poses a high risk of death and that they could be charged with murder if they again sell fentanyl resulting in death.”
Along with his guilty plea, Alvarado also admitted to the special allegations that he was on probation or parole when he committed the felony. His sentencing is scheduled for June 8 in Ventura County Superior Court.
Those wishing to learn more about the dangers of fentanyl, how to find resources for anyone struggling with addiction and where to get overdose kits can follow this link to Ventura County Responds.