Spokane – William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Francisco Salazar, Jr., age 30, of Yakima, Washington, was sentenced today after having pleaded guilty on February 26, 2020, to Possession with Intent to Distribute Fentanyl and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. United States District Judge Stanley A. Bastian sentenced Salazar to an 85-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 3-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.
United States Attorney Hyslop said, “Fentanyl is the leading cause of overdose deaths in the United States. The community needs to know that an incredibly small amount of Fentanyl in a pill can kill you instantly. It is incredibly dangerous. When a person buys a pill from a drug dealer, they have no way of knowing whether they will drop dead from that first pill or not, and even if they cut the pill, they have no way of knowing how much Fentanyl is in the portion that they swallow. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington commends the outstanding work of the Yakima Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in investigating this case. Together, we will continue to fight to take this incredibly dangerous drug off the streets, but every user must know they are gambling with their life in even swallowing one Fentanyl-laced pill.”
According to information disclosed during court proceedings, during an October 2018, controlled buy, the Yakima Police Department (YPD) purchased Fentanyl-laced pills from Salazar. Five days later they arrested Salazar and searched his vehicle and residence, where YPD officers found additional Fentanyl-laced pills, a firearm, and U.S. currency. Salazar was charged in state court and released pending trial.
Months later, while still on pretrial release on the state charge, Salazar continued selling Fentanyl in the community. In September 2019, YPD and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted a controlled buy of twenty-five Fentanyl-laced pills from Salazar. In October, 2019, DEA and YPD obtained warrants to search Salazar’s car and residence. During execution of the warrants, law enforcement agents found approximately 300 Fentanyl-laced pills, drug packaging, U.S. currency, and a loaded firearm.
This case was investigated by the Yakima Resident Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Yakima Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Benjamin D. Seal, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.