OC Man Sentenced to Prison for Distributing Fentanyl Resulting in Deaths

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An Orange County man was sentenced Friday to 20 years in federal prison for distributing fentanyl that resulted in the overdose deaths of two victims -- one in Aliso Viejo, the other in Utah -- within six weeks of each other.

Jason Soheili, 28, of Laguna Hills, pleaded guilty in December in Los Angeles to two counts of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death. He has been in federal custody since May 2021, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

In January and February of 2021, Soheili exchanged text messages with a Utah-based victim -- identified in court papers as J.N. -- regarding the shipment of fentanyl pills. J.N. instructed Soheili to address the package containing the pills to an alias at an address in Fillmore, Utah.

On Feb. 15, 2021, Soheili shipped via U.S. mail a parcel containing at least two counterfeit oxycodone pills that were laced with fentanyl. The parcel arrived in Utah three days later. On Feb. 21, 2021, J.N. ingested at least one of the pills and died of fentanyl toxicity, according to federal prosecutors.

On April 1, 2021, Soheili exchanged text messages with another victim - - identified as J.M. -- involving Soheili selling cocaine and alprazolam -- commonly referred to by its brand name, Xanax -- to the victim. That evening, Soheili and J.M. met at a 7-Eleven store in Laguna Hills to make the deal.

After the meeting, J.M. accompanied Soheili to his home in Laguna Hills, where Soheili supplied the victim with additional drugs. At some point late that evening, the victim ingested the narcotics that Soheili had given him.

J.M. died on April 2, 2021 from acute fentanyl, alprazolam, and cocaine intoxication, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

In a letter to the court, Soheili apologized to the families of the victims for his "selfishness and irresponsibility ... I've made huge mistakes."

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