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Man gets 14 years after selling fentanyl to man who died

Ernesto Ibarra Jr. admitted to dealing pills to a second man who also died of a fentanyl overdose. There was not enough evidence to connect him to the fatal dose.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A  45-year-old Fort Collins man was sentenced to more than 14 years in federal prison after he sold drugs to a man who died from a fentanyl overdose in 2017, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado.

Ernesto Ibarra Jr. was formally sentenced on Feb. 18 to 175 months in federal prison for distributing fentanyl resulting in death.  After his term of incarceration, Ibarra will have three years of supervised release.

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According to the plea agreement, on Sept. 26, 2017, police and emergency medical services responded to a home in Fort Collins and found a man deceased on a bathroom floor. 

>The video above discusses the dangers of fentanyl and the resources available.

Next to the man, police found a syringe, a spoon with liquid and what appeared to be a partially dissolved blue pill, and another fully intact pill, which was round and blue, with the imprints “M” and “30.” It resembled a prescription oxycodone pill, according to the DOJ.

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The coroner's office determined that the man died from “acute fentanyl toxicity.”

The two blue pills found at the scene were analyzed by a lab. It was determined that even though the imprint, color, and shape were consistent with prescription oxycodone, fentanyl was the only controlled substance found in them.

An investigation by the FBI and Fort Collins Police Services found that Ibarra sold the man the fentanyl pills which resulted in his death.

Ibarra used Facebook to communicate with the man and sold him pills that appeared to be prescription opioids several times in the days leading up to the man’s death, including the transaction for the lethal fentanyl pills the day before the man's death.

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In the plea agreement, Ibarra also admitted to dealing pills to a second man who also died of a fentanyl overdose approximately two days after buying pills from Ibarra.

However, in that instance, the evidence was not sufficient to prove the Ibarra dealt the fentanyl which killed the second man.

“Fentanyl pills disguised as prescription drugs are pervasive and leading to an unprecedented number of overdose deaths,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan. “Even one pill containing fentanyl can end a life.  Please stay away from any pill that you haven’t obtained directly from a pharmacist.  Your life depends on it.” 

RELATED: Denver to ship fentanyl testing strips and Narcan for free to anyone in the city

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