FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A Sanger man was sentenced to 14 years in prison on Monday as a result of an operation that contributed to a series of fentanyl-related deaths, the Department of Justice announced.

According to court documents, “Operation Killer High” began after a series of overdoses occurred in Fresno as a result of fake oxycodone M30 tablets with fentanyl in them. The investigation uncovered a large drug-trafficking ring led by Horacio Torrecillas Urias Jr., the self-proclaimed “M30 king of Fresno.”

Court records reveal in February 2022, investigators learned that Urias planned to deliver several thousand fentanyl pills to 29-year-old Abel Lozano of Sanger. Two days later, federal officers searched Lozano’s home and found about a kilogram of fentanyl analog, over a kilogram of fentanyl mixture, about a kilogram of methamphetamine, over three kilograms of marijuana, and a small amount of cocaine.

Attorneys state Lozano admitted the drugs were his after being interviewed and that he was buying regularly to resell in large quantities, including to other states.

As a result, Lozano was sentenced to 14 years in prison for possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectible amount of fentanyl, 100 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl analog, and 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine.

Court documents state that 17 others were also indicted in 2022 by a federal grand jury, Lozano being the first defendant to be sentenced.

According to court officials, the following 12 co-defendants have previously pleaded guilty to fentanyl or cocaine distribution charges and are now awaiting sentencing:

  •  Henry Cox, 23, of Sanger;
  • Justin Riddle, of Las Cruces, New Mexico,
  • Erica Ramirez, of Fresno;
  • Alejandro Guzman, of Fresno;
  • Agustin Hernandez, of Fresno;
  • Christian Harris-Blanchette, of Fresno;
  • Oscar Jaramillo-Cortez, of Fresno;
  • Jacob Valles, of Fresno;
  • Cody Fyfe, of Fresno;
  • Juan Valencia Jr., of Fresno;
  • Amadeo Sarabia Jr., of Fresno; and
  • Alex Garcia, of Fresno.

Attorneys say 24-year-old Marvin Carreno pleaded guilty Monday to possession with intent to distribute over 40 grams of fentanyl and is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 12, 2024.

Court officials say the remaining four defendants have pending charges:

  • Horacio Torrecillas Urias Jr.
  • Alma Garza
  • Brayan Cruz
  • Victor Yair Torrecillas-Urias