Monday, May 29, 2023

Hoopa Fentanyl Dealer Implicated in the Overdose Deaths of Two Women Will Spend 24 Months in Federal Prison

The following is a press release issued by the United States District Attorney’s Office Northern District of California:

A potentially lethal dose of fentanyl next to a penny for size comparison [Photograph from the Drug Enforcement Agency]

Warren Herman Sloan was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison for attempting to distribute, and possessing with the intent to distribute, fentanyl on the Hoopa Valley Tribe Indian Reservation, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan, and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Wade R. Shannon.  The sentence was handed down by United States District Judge Susan Illston.

Sloan, 25, formerly of Hoopa Valley in Humboldt County, pleaded guilty to the charges on February 15, 2022.  In his plea agreement, Sloan admitted that in early 2021 he engaged in distributing drugs for profit on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation.  Sloan further admitted that on March 29, 2021, he attempted to meet with his drug supplier to obtain narcotics which he planned to resell for profit on the Hoopa reservation.  He acknowledged in the plea agreement that he intended to purchase approximately 120 counterfeit pharmaceutical pills for $1,700.  During that meeting, police officers arrived and arrested Sloan.  Sloan stated in his plea agreement that he now knows the counterfeit pills he was purchasing contained fentanyl.

In a memorandum filed with the court for Sloan’s sentencing, the government pointed out additional facts relevant to the sentence Sloan should receive.  Specifically, the government argued that two young women, one 19 years old and the other 20, tragically died from fentanyl overdoses in Hoopa Valley in the early months of 2021.  The government pointed out that in his plea agreement Sloan admitted he was aware that on March 5, 2021 – two weeks before his arrest – the 19 year old woman, whom he knew from the reservation, died from a drug overdose and that he heard the overdose was caused by counterfeit pharmaceutical pills laced with fentanyl.  Sloan nevertheless continued to sell – and was one of only a few sellers of – counterfeit pills in Hoopa Valley. 

In addition to the 24-month prison term, U.S. District Judge Illston ordered Sloan to serve three years of supervised release following release from federal prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross E. Weingarten prosecuted the case with the assistance of Linda Love.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI, DEA, and the Humboldt County Drug Task Force. 

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One Pill Can Kill: Fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, is a highly potent opiate that can be diluted with cutting agents to create counterfeit pills that purport to mimic the effects of Oxycodone, Percocet, and other drugs but can typically be obtained at a lower cost than the genuine drugs.  However, very small variations in the amount or quality of fentanyl can have huge effects on the potency of the counterfeit pills, and with lethal consequences.  Fentanyl has now become the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States.  Counterfeit, fentanyl-laced pills are commonly shaped and colored to resemble pills that are sold legitimately at pharmacies. For example, counterfeit pills known as M30s mimic Oxycodone, but contain fentanyl.  These tablets are round and often light blue in color, though they come in many colors, and have “M” and “30” imprinted on opposite sides of the pill.

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    • Maybe you missed it?
      This case was adjudicated in a US District Court, meaning “Federal”, not a CA State Superior Court.
      Whole different set of laws and sentencing guidelines.

      • I missed nothing, but perhaps you missed the obvious irony of such a lenient sentence of trading two deaths for a meager two years in prison no matter what judiciary did the sentencing. This guy should have gone to prison for life. Get It?

      • I don’t disagree at all that the dealer should serve more time.
        But, what does that have to do with CA?

        The bs rhetoric about so called lenient CA was obviously implied in your comment…your words, not mine.

        Get it?

  1. Here’s a no brainer for ya.
    That could have been my daughter/sister/friend who’s life was taken. They are someone’s in fact.
    Fentanyl dealer goes to prison, gets 3 free hots & a cot & access to an entire community network of criminal career knowledge, to use out in society again when he’s out in 16 months.
    I question if the place that the victims go is a better place to be, rather than cursed to be stuck in this abhorrent world anymore.
    It has no right to call itself a Justice System.

  2. He knew about the death of one of the girls but went on selling. Yup, pretty bad. However, this bad will go on because there will always be someone willing to take money over human life. And the answer is? I can only guess it must be education and opportunity to keep naive young people busy and hopeful and away from drug use. Idealistic, but what else is there?

  3. “Counterfeit, fentanyl-laced pills are commonly shaped and colored to resemble pills that are sold legitimately at pharmacies.” How long has this message been seen everywhere 2 or three years? Why are people still buying this crap from dope dealers? If you buy then try, and you die, you must share some responsibility too.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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