Gustavo Jaciel Solis, 25, pleaded guilty to two federal drug trafficking charges April 13, a press release from the District Attorney’s Office of Central California has revealed: participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy and distributing fentanyl resulting in death.
Solis is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 17, and faces a minimum of 20 years in federal prison for the fentanyl charge and a potential life sentence for each narcotics offense, court documents say.
First charged in 2020, months after the death of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Division Marine, referred to in court documents for discretion only as “L.M.,” Solis and four other alleged co-conspirators were listed in a superseding indictment as part of an alleged ring of drug dealers offering narcotics to both civilians and Marines.
As part of his plea agreement, Solis admitted that he “would advertise his controlled substances for sale through his Snapchat account username, ‘huf_75,’ and display name, ‘Gusto928.’ [Solis] would provide various controlled substances, including LSD, MDMA, cocaine, and purported oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, to customers directly, through couriers, or through the United States mail,” the press release said.
On May 22, 2020, after obtaining approximately 1,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl from a co-defendant, Solis admitted to using Snapchat to advertise the pills, posting a picture of the drugs with the caption, “Who f*** with M30s? Tapp in.”
Solis sold approximately 10 of the fentanyl-laced oxycodone pills, resulting in the Marine’s death after overdosing on the narcotics.
Solis was arrested almost two months later after also selling narcotics ― including more counterfeit oxycodone pills, cocaine and LSD ― to an undercover Naval Criminal Investigative Services agent.
Two alleged co-conspirators ― Anthony Ruben Whisenant, 22, and Ryan Douglas White, 24 ― both had been lance corporals at the time of the 20-year-old Marine’s death, according to court documents.
Whisenant allegedly aided and abetted the distribution of the fentanyl-laced pills, while White was charged with being an accessory after the fact for attempting to hinder law enforcement’s apprehension of Whisenant and Solis.
Whisenant and White are scheduled to stand trial June 21.
Also charged was Jordan Nicholas McCormick, 27, of Palmdale, California, and Jessica Sarah Perez, 25, of Pacoima, California.
Perez pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute narcotics Jan. 26 and is scheduled for sentencing in May.
McCormick, who is listed as the lead defendant and the alleged supplier for the drug ring, provided the group with LSD, ecstasy, cocaine and the bogus oxycodone pills, according to court documents.
NCIS investigated the case with the help of agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, according to court documents.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Castañeda and Gregg E. Marmaro of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section prosecuted the case, while U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee will continue to preside over the remaining trials.
Rachel is a Marine Corps veteran, Penn State alumna and Master's candidate at New York University for Business and Economic Reporting.