Two Southern California men face decades or even life in federal prison for allegedly supplying fentanyl-laced pills and methamphetamine for online sales.
Omar Navia, 38, of South Los Angeles, and Adan Ruiz, 27, of Garden Grove, are accused of providing “counterfeit M30 oxycodone pills containing fentanyl and other narcotics” for sale on darknet, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release.
They were indicted last month and arrested on Thursday. Both have pleaded not guilty to charges of “conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine,” the DOJ said. Ruiz faces an additional charge of distribution of fentanyl.
According to prosecutors, Navia and Ruiz collaborated with two people who’ve already admitted guilt: Rajiv Srinivasan, 38, of Houston, and Michael Ta, 25, of Westminster, who were indicted last year by a federal grand jury on related charges. They pleaded guilty this year and are scheduled to be sentenced next year, prosecutors said.
Srinivasan and Ta “admitted that their drug trafficking activities caused the death of three individuals and that they sold fentanyl-laced pills to two others who died of drug overdoses soon thereafter,” the DOJ said.
Using the username “redlightlabs,” Srinivasan and Ta allegedly procured narcotics from Navia and Ruiz, then sold them on the darknet to buyers in all 50 states.
Documents found by investigators indicate the group allegedly sold almost 124,000 fentanyl pills in 2022, as well as 20 pounds of meth and “smaller amounts of fentanyl powder, black tar heroin and cocaine, according to the indictment.”
Navia and Ruiz are being held without bond. Their trial is set to begin Dec. 26.
For the conspiracy charge, they could be sentenced to life in federal prison, while Ruiz’s distribution charge could result to up to 20 years.