A Sylmar man pleaded guilty Friday to two federal drug trafficking offenses, one of which stemmed from a 2020 transaction in which he sold bogus oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl that caused a US Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton to suffer a fatal overdose.
Gustavo Solis, 25, entered his pleas in Los Angeles federal court to participate in a drug trafficking conspiracy and distributing fentanyl resulting in death, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
US District Judge Dolly M. Gee set sentencing for Aug. 17, at which time Solis will face between 20 years and life in federal prison.
Solis was charged in 2020, along with an active-duty US Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton and two other alleged co-conspirators, with being part of a ring that distributed narcotics to civilians and members of the US Marine Corps.
In his plea agreement, Solis admitted that he would advertise controlled substances for sale through his Snapchat account and provide various drugs, including LSD, MDMA, cocaine and purported oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, to customers directly, through couriers or the mail.
In May 2020, Solis sold about 10 counterfeit oxycodone pills, and a 20-year-old US Marine identified in court papers as LM died after consuming some of the fentanyl-laced pills, prosecutors said.
Solis also admitted in his plea agreement to orchestrating other narcotics transactions, some of which were conducted with an undercover agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The transactions with the undercover agent involved several types of narcotics, including counterfeit oxycodone containing fentanyl, cocaine and LSD.
Solis was arrested on July 29, 2020, at which time investigators seized narcotics and several firearms — including a 9mm “ghost gun” — from his residence. Solis has remained in federal custody since his arrest.
Co-defendant Jessica Sarah Perez, 25, of Pacoima, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute narcotics, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 11.
The remaining three defendants — including a lance corporal in the US Marine Corps — are expected to go on trial on June 21.