Sunday, April 21, 2024

Fentanyl trafficker tied to juvenile overdoses in Flower Mound pleads guilty

A fentanyl trafficker tied to the recent rash of juvenile overdoses in Flower Mound and Carrollton pleaded guilty last week to a drug crime, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.

Magaly Mejia Cano, 29, was charged in February, and on Tuesday she pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of a controlled substance (fentanyl) to a person under 21 years of age, according to a news release from Simonton’s office.

“Just 2mg of fentanyl can cut a young life tragically short. Peddling fentanyl pills to teenagers is one of the most callous crimes a trafficker can commit,” Simonton said. “With Ms. Cano’s plea today, we are one step closer to getting justice for parents who lost their teens to fentanyl.”

Cano is the first defendant to enter a guilty plea in the drug distribution scheme, which has been linked to at least 12 juvenile overdoses – three of them fatal – in Carrollton and Flower Mound since September 2022, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Others charged in the conspiracy include: Stephan Paul Brinson (of Flower Mound), Jason Xavier Villanueva, Luis Eduardo NavarreteDonovan Jude Andrews, Robert Alexander Gaitan and Rafael Soliz, Jr.

In plea papers, Cano admitted that co-defendant Luis Navarrete routinely dealt fentanyl-laced pills to juveniles from his Highland Drive residence.  The round blue pills, imprinted with M/30, resembled prescription narcotics, but were in actuality clandestinely produced fakes. Cano said Navarrete stored the counterfeit pills near their front door of their Carrollton residence and distributed them to customers who came by the house – including a network of juvenile dealers who dealt to other minors. On at least three occasions, Cano said she distributed pills directly to customers, including a 16-year-old, at Navarrete’s direction, according to the news release.

“Those who choose a path of darkness to distribute and pollute our communities with fentanyl, should always be looking over their shoulder because of the relentless efforts of DEA Dallas and our law enforcement partners,” said DEA Dallas Special Agent in Charge Eduardo A. Chávez. “Ms. Cano’s guilty plea is a clear result and warning to those that decide this same path.“

Cano now faces up to 40 years in federal prison and a $2 million fine.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

Related Articles

Popular This Week