Texas Man Who Ran Fentanyl Pill-Pressing Operation Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

By Steve Neavling

A Texas man was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for operating a fentanyl pill-pressing operation. 

Adrian Warren, 33, of Saginaw, pleaded guilty in October 2022 to possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor. 

Two co-defendants pleaded guilty to similar charges and were sentenced to between 11 and 15 years in prison. 

“One of the scariest things about fentanyl is that drug traffickers press it into pills that look identical to real pills containing other medications, meaning many users are buying and ingesting these counterfeit pills off the street without knowing they contain a drug 100 times more potent than morphine,” U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton said. “Fentanyl is tearing through our communities at an alarming rate, poisoning our friends, our family members, and worst of all, our children. We will not rest until we stop this killer drug from circulating in our communities.  We urge everyone to immediately educate themselves and their loved ones about the dangers of ingesting any type of pill that comes off the street because it could contain this deadly substance.”

During the investigation, DEA agents discovered that Warren had purchased more than two dozen kilograms of excipient, which is an inactive binder used to produce pills. The excipient was in various colors, likely to make the pills appear to be difference prescription drugs, according to the DEA. 

“Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered,” said Eduardo A. Chávez, Special Agent in Charge of DEA operations in Dallas-Fort Worth. “The sentence handed down to Mr. Warren, Ms. Martinez-Otero, and Mr. Rodriguez is a clear message that the production and trafficking of fentanyl will not be tolerated in our neighborhoods. DEA and all of our law enforcement partners will continue to work together and keep this poison off our streets.”

In 2022, the DEA seized more than 379 million deadly doses of fentanyl, enough to kill every American.

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