ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – A California pair has been indicted for supplying fentanyl linked to Wise County teen overdoses.
According to a release, a federal grand jury has charged Alexander Ortiz, 35, of Fullerton, Calif. and Jorge Efrain Perez Jr., 24, of Anaheim, Calif., with one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl.
Court documents say Ortiz and Perez were the suppliers of fentanyl for Paul Perkins, Austin Lane and Cheyenne Carcio, the Southwest Virginia trio who pleaded guilty to fentanyl distribution that led to overdoses, as well as others in Southwest Virginia.
Between November 1, 2020, and June 20, 2022, Ortiz allegedly sold thousands of pressed pills containing fentanyl to Perkins and others, according to investigators. Perez helped Ortiz in mailing the packages from California to Virginia, as well as other locations in the country.
Search warrants executed at Ortiz’s residence in Los Banos and Santa Ana, California resulted in the recovery of over $6,000 pressed pills containing fentanyl, approximately $60,000 in cash and 13 firearms, according to investigators.
Ortiz and Perez face 20 years in prison if convicted.
The announcement comes from U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh; Charlies J. Patterson, special agent in charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division; and Tommy D. Coke, inspector in charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Atlanta Division.
The case was investigated by the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, Norton Police Department, Southwest Drug Task Force, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, with assistance from the Stanislaus and Orange County, California sheriffs’ offices.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lena Busscher is prosecuting the case.