WISE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – A California man has pleaded guilty to charges related to shipping thousands of fentanyl pills to Southwest Virginia, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

A release from the DOJ states Robert Contreras, also known as “Quill,” pleaded guilty Wednesday to two federal drug charges. Contreras, 23, of Buena Park, California, was convicted of:

  • Conspiring to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl
  • Possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime

The DOJ reports Contreras was part of a conspiracy that funneled as many as 30,000 fentanyl pills a week into Southwest Virginia at one point. Court documents state that between 2020 and 2023, Contreras sold tens of thousands of pressed fentanyl pills each week from his California home to a co-conspirator who distributed the pills throughout Southwest Virginia.

His co-conspirator, identified by the DOJ as Marco Orozco, allegedly worked alongside others to sell the pills in the region by way of social media platforms.

A search warrant was executed on Contreras’ California home in March. During that search, investigators reportedly found 1,639 pressed fentanyl pills, more than $31,000 in cash, five guns without serial numbers, thousands of other pills, and 242 grams of cocaine.

The DOJ states Contreras will be sentenced on Feb. 22, 2024 and faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison.

The case was investigated by the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, the Norton Police Department, the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force and several California and federal law enforcement agencies.