4 face drug and money-laundering charges in ‘fake heroin’ case

Four Southern California men — including one from Fountain Valley and one from Huntington Beach — face federal narcotics and money laundering charges based on allegations they illegally imported and sold powerful painkillers.

Joseph Stanley, 30, of Huntington Beach; Dylan Simpson, 25, of Fountain Valley; Gary Resnik, 31, of Long Beach; and Christopher Bowen, 30, of Los Angeles could each face up to life in prison if they’re convicted of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, conspiracy to launder money, and money laundering.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles contends the four defendants were importing a synthetic opiate called acetyl-fentanyl from China.

Acetyl-fentanyl is sometimes called “fake heroin,” but it’s more potent than that drug, according to federal prosecutors.


“So-called ‘designer drugs’ may seem to have a similar effect as traditional narcotics, but these back-alley laboratory concoctions are very dangerous,” Eileen M. Decker, U.S. attorney for the central district of California, said. “They have caused many deaths in the United States, and this abuse led the DEA to put it on a list of the most dangerous and easily abused drugs in our country.”

After importing drug, prosecutors allege, the four suspects used a Baldwin Park laboratory to put the drug into pill form before distributing it in bulk.

Federal agents raided the lab and arrested the four suspects Tuesday, according to authorities.
Stanley, Simpson, Resnik and Bowen are scheduled to be arraigned on April 4. A detention hearing was set for Thursday to determine their bail, authorities said.