Court report

A 23-year-old Mount Vernon woman was sentenced in federal court Thursday to seven years in prison for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington.

Rosaliana Lopez-Rodriguez pleaded guilty Jan. 12 to selling counterfeit oxycodone pills tainted with fentanyl in Skagit and Whatcom counties, according to the release.

The pills were connected to at least two overdoses, including the overdose death of a Bellingham 17-year-old.

Lopez-Rodriguez and her supplier, 22-year-old Jiovanni Nunez, were arrested in 2019.

In late November 2019, investigators began surveilling Lopez-Rodriguez’s home in Mount Vernon and were able to purchase more than two dozen counterfeit pills from her, the federal complaint states.

Lopez-Rodriguez was arrested at her Mount Vernon home on Nov. 27. Law enforcement found two and a half fentanyl pills in her bedroom.

Nunez was arrested on Dec. 3. According to court documents, a search warrant served on his residence led investigators to a safe with hundreds of the same counterfeit pills.

As part of her plea agreement, Lopez-Rodriguez admitted selling an undercover law enforcement officer fentanyl pills, which Lopez-Rodriguez stated she had received from Nunez.

Lopez-Rodriguez also admitted that Nunez had provided her with the pills that killed the Bellingham 17-year-old.

The sister of the Bellingham 17-year-old told the court at sentencing that she is haunted by the memory of finding her brother’s body, and she said that Lopez-Rodriguez had shown “blatant disregard for human life.”

The victim’s mother described the pain she lives with every day. She expressed her anger at Lopez-Rodriguez for selling the pills that killed her son and said, “That’s all his life was to her, a few bucks.”

Nunez is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 1.

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