A Fountain Valley man was sentenced to three years in federal prison for his role in a narcotics distribution ring that illegally imported a synthetic opiate from China to produce pills that were sold across the United States.
U.S. District Judge S. James Otero also ordered Dylan Simpson to serve four years of supervised release after his prison term.
Simpson, 28, pleaded guilty in June 2017 to possession to distribute methamphetamine, a felony charge that typically carries a five-year minimum prison sentence, according to federal court records.
Simpson’s attorney, Michael Bruggeman, argued for a lesser sentence, writing in court documents that his client was merely a delivery driver paid $40 per delivery and was the “lowest-level and least culpable member of the four-person criminal conspiracy.”
Federal prosecutors say Gary Resnik of Long Beach was the ringleader of the group, which also included Joseph Stanley of Huntington Beach and Christopher Bowen of Los Angeles.
Bowen was sentenced in May to more than 26 years behind bars, and Stanley in July received a year of federal probation for their roles in the scheme.
Resnik, who was sentenced in July to more than 26 years in federal prison, admitted to importing chemicals, including acetyl fentanyl — a drug similar to the powerful and highly addictive opioid fentanyl — and pill presses from China to manufacture the pills, according to prosecutors.
Acetyl fentanyl is sometimes called “fake heroin,” but it’s more potent than that drug, prosecutors said.
The pills, which were designed to look like legitimate pharmaceuticals, were made in a Long Beach storage unit and a Baldwin Park house and then sold, according to court records.