FRESNO, Calif. — Fabian Garcia-Palacio, 19, of Fresno, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston to three years in prison for illegally distributing fentanyl to a minor, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, in March 2020, Garcia-Palacio distributed counterfeit oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl to a juvenile student at Bullard High School. That juvenile used one of the pills, overdosed, but survived after receiving life-saving medical treatment. As part of the investigation into the case, investigators searched Garcia-Palacio’s residence and found additional fentanyl pills. He was charged with distributing fentanyl to a person under 21 years of age, and pleaded guilty on May 14, 2021.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Fentanyl Overdose Resolution Team, a multi-agency team composed of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Homeland Security Investigations, and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin J. Gilio prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.) a program designed to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas as well as identifying wholesale distribution networks and international and domestic suppliers. In July 2018, the Justice Department announced the creation of S.O.S., which is being implemented in the Eastern District of California and nine other federal districts.