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Washington State News

Nampa Man Sentenced for Trafficking Fentanyl Pills Linked to an Overdose Death

SPOKANE – Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Jaycob Tyler Gonzales, age 29, of Nampa, Idaho, was sentenced after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute 40 Grams or More of Fentanyl. United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice imposed a sentence of 108 months imprisonment to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.

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According to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, in March of 2022, officers responded to a 911 call for an unconscious male at a home in Lewiston, Idaho. Upon arriving, officers found a man deceased from a fentanyl overdose. There was a piece of tin foil with a fentanyl pill next to the body. Officers examined the man’s phone and found the last text messages. The messages described a drug transaction and were sent from a phone that belonged to Gonzales.

In April of 2022, Investigators arranged controlled buys of fentanyl pills from Gonzales’s residence in Clarkston, Washington.

On May 22, 2022, a traffic stop was conducted on a vehicle Gonzales was driving. Two young children were in the backseat. Investigators searched the trunk and located a small safe, disguised as dictionary, with more than 1,400 fentanyl pills inside. Gonzales told detectives he was returning home after a trip to Spokane to purchase 1,000 fentanyl pills from his supplier. Gonzales also told detectives he had been selling fentanyl for about two months and made regular trips to Spokane to re-supply. Gonzales admitted selling drugs to the man who died of a fentanyl overdose.

“Fentanyl continues to have a devastating impact on the community, and in this case resulted in the tragic overdose death of a young man. This case is a tragic and stark reminder of the destruction the opioid epidemic has inflicted,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “Mr. Gonzales also had children with him when he was arrested with more than a thousand fentanyl pills, further increasing the risk that others would be harmed by the deadly drugs Mr. Gonzales was trafficking.  My office, together with our federal and local partners, will continue to work tirelessly to prosecute those who contribute to this deadly crisis.”

“While in prison, Gonzales will no longer be able to contribute to the opioid epidemic that has devastated so many lives,” said Special Agent in Charge Shohini Sinha of the Salt Lake City FBI. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners are working together to identify and disrupt traffickers who peddle poison in our communities.”

This case was investigated by the North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force and the Quad Cities Drug Task Force.  The Quad Cities Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdiction task force involving the numerous law enforcement agencies in Asotin County, Garfield County, and Whitman County, Washington, and Latah County and Nez Perce County, Idaho. The North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force is an FBI led Task Force involving the Idaho State Police, Lewiston Police Department, Nez Perce Tribal Police Department, and Grangeville Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Ellis.

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