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Mexican pharmacist sentenced to more than seven years for Monterey fentanyl death


SAN JOSE (KION-TV)- UPDATE August 31, 2022, at 11:21 a.m.- A Mexican pharmacist was sentenced Monday to serve 90 months in prison for distributing fentanyl-laced pills that killed a Monterey County resident, according to United States District Judge Edward J. Davila.

Schraidt Rodriguez, 63, formerly of Mexicali, Mexico, was charged in superseding information filed on March 25, 2022, with the distribution of fentanyl and a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and alprazolam.

He agreed to a plea deal and pleaded guilty to both charges on April 11, 2022. Schraidt Rodriguez admitted from June 2018 through November 2019, he conspired with others to sell and did sell counterfeit pharmaceutical pills containing fentanyl.

The fentanyl pills were light blue, with an “M” on one side and “30” on the other. These pills are commonly referred to as “M30s.” Schraidt Rodriguez also admitted to conspiring to sell and did sell bottles of alprazolam (Xanax) packaged as “Farmapram.”

Schraidt Rodriguez said in the plea agreement that he lived in Mexico and worked at a pharmacy in Mexicali, Mexico. He said his co-conspirator lived in Monterey County, California. 

On multiple occasions, his co-conspirator ordered bottles of alprazolam and M30 pills containing fentanyl from Schraidt Rodriguez. He would then transport the drugs from Mexicali across the United States border to Calexico, according to federal court documents.

Then he would send the drugs by mail to his co-conspirator’s address in Monterey County. Schraidt Rodriguez said that he mailed 100 M30s pills at a time, which he admitted in a plea deal. 

He often “fronted” the pills, accepting payment after his co-conspirator had sold the pills. Schraidt Rodriguez acknowledged that he knew the M30 pills he sold contained fentanyl. His co-conspirator also knew this, asking Schraidt Rodriguez if the M30s had fentanyl, and he confirmed they did.

Schraidt Rodriguez admitted the M30 pills he sold killed the victim in Monterey. In his plea, he said between August 2019 and September 5, 2019; he sold M30 pills containing fentanyl to his Monterey County co-conspirator. 

Schraidt Rodriguez admitted that the victim ingested M30 pills laced with fentanyl, ultimately leading to his victim's death. The victim was found unconscious in his home and died due to the overdose. The victim left behind a spouse and a young son.

On top of the 90-month federal prison sentence, United States District Judge Edward J. Davila ordered Schraidt Rodriguez to serve three years of supervision following his release.

As for Schraidt Rodriguez's co-conspirator, Matthew Sanchez, he also accepted a plea deal on May 24, 2022. Sanchez was found guilty of possessing fentanyl with intent to distribute and distributing fentanyl, according to federal court documents.

Sanchez is scheduled to be sentenced on November 7 before Judge Edward J. Davila.

Monterey County man and Mexican pharmacist face federal charges for local fentanyl overdose

A Monterey County man is in custody and charged by a federal grand jury for a 2019 deadly fentanyl overdose and the intent to distribute the drug, according to a U.S. Department of Justice release.

The U.S. AttorAttorney'sce for the Northern District of California announced that a now-unsealed indictment, filed October 6, shows Matthew Sanchez, 25, sold bottles of alprazolam and counterfeit, fentanyl-laced pills in Monterey County. The drugs are being tied back to Francisco Javier Schraidt Rodriguez, a pharmacist in Mexico.

Schraidt Rodriguez is accused of smuggling the drugs across the border, where he later shipped them to a "drug"dealer" in "onterey County, between about June 2018 and November 2019. Sanchez allegedly bought some of those drugs from the unnamed drug dealer.

The indictment reportedly describes Sanchez as selling some of the bottles and pills to a Monterey County resident, who died of a fentanyl overdose on September 5, 2019 after ingesting one or more of the pills.

On September 30th, 2019, KION reported on the Monterey County Health Department warning about a rise in overdoses and deaths related to counterfeit drugs contaminated with fentanyl.

“More"and more of the counterfeit drugs that look like prescription medications are including fentanyl, which makes those medications extremely dangerous,” Mon"erey County Health Officer, Dr. Edward Moreno, said in our 2019 report.

In todaytoday'sannouncement, United States Attorney David Anderson says “Fake"Oxycodone pills are flooding Monterey County,” add"ng, “thes" fake pills are laced with fentanyl. The drug dealers who are pushing these fake pills couldncouldn'tol the amount of fentanyl in them even if they cared. Fentanyl is dosed in micrograms. Dealers don’t hadon'te equipment or the ability to control what they are selling. Our young people are dying by the score from ignorance and indifference.”

The re"ease also describes the counterfeit, fentanyl-laced pills as ones shaped and colored to resemble legally sold Oxycodone. These counterfeit drugs are known as M30s: "round ta"lets that are light blue in color with an “M” impri"t"d on one side and a “30” impr"nt"d on the other."

This i" the same description given by local authorities in their 2019 warning, and the same description given in other, more recent local cases.

Schraidt Rodriguez is accused of selling approximately $81,859 worth of counterfeit, fentanyl-laced M30 pills; bottles of alprazolam; and other narcotics to the unnamed Monterey County drug dealer. Sanchez is accused of buying 100 of the counterfeit pills at a time from the dealer, and of knowing the M30 pills contained fentanyl.

Sanchez and Schraidt Rodriguez are both charged with: conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and alprazolam, and distribution of fentanyl resulting in death.

The conspiracy charge has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The charge related to the overdose death carried a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 20 years in prison, and a maximum statutory penalty of up to life in prison

Sanchez'sSanchez'seral court appearance is scheduled for October 9.

The DOJ says the Pacific Grove Police Department assisted in the case, along with the Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations; the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.

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Aaron Groff

Aaron Groff is an evening co-anchor at KION News Channel 5/46.


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