A federal grand jury indicted a documented Lakeside gang member for allegedly selling fentanyl that led to the death of a La Mesa woman in January.
Uriah Odish, 28, made an appearance in federal court Wednesday and declined to seek bond. He remains in custody and his next hearing is May 4.
“By holding dealers accountable for the deaths of overdose victims, we bring justice to loved ones and reaffirm to all those dealing in death that we will not let it go unpunished,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Karen I. Flowers.
The 25-year-old victim, identified in court documents only as T.H., was found dead in her home on January 23.
Because of a prior drug-related felony, if convicted, Odish could face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
“There is a raging opioid epidemic in this country, and we want dealers to be on notice: Every time we have an overdose death, we are going to come looking for you,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed the Department to use all available criminal and civil tools to combat this deadly epidemic. We are firmly committed to this endeavor and will do everything in our power to stop these tragic losses.”
Odish is the fourth person since January to be charged in the Southern District of California with Distribution of Fentanyl Resulting in the Death, including in the death of a Fallbrook man and a Marine Corporal at Camp Pendleton.
Approximately 64,000 people died of overdoses in 2016.