Lubbock Man Sentenced in Fentanyl Distribution Conspiracy

For Immediate Release

Brian Landon Brown, 32, was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to 240 months in federal prison for his role in a fentanyl distribution conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Brown pleaded guilty in June 2017 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute furanyl fentanyl. He has been in custody since his arrest in May 2017.

“Fentanyl and its analogues are extremely potent synthetic opioids that can be 30 to 40 times stronger than heroin and up to 100 times more powerful than morphine,” said U.S. Attorney Parker. “As sadly proved to be the case here, it is also extremely deadly and failure to stop those who sell it is simply not an option.”

According to plea documents filed in the case, in the Summer of 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Lubbock Police Department began receiving information about a large-scale drug ring distributing Fentanyl and Fentanyl analogues in the Lubbock area. Law enforcement learned that Brown was one of the largest distributors for the group, selling up to 10 grams of Furanyl Fentanyl per day.

On October 6, 2016, at 2:30 p.m. Brown met a 26-year-old male and sold Furanyl Fentanyl to that individual. Around 4:15 - 4:30 a.m. on October 7, 2016, that same individual was discovered unconscious at his residence. At approximately 5:05 a.m. that same day, the individual was pronounced dead. The Lubbock County Medical Examiner (LCME) did an autopsy and determined that the cause of death was drug toxicity from Furanyl Fentanyl. An investigation into the cause of death led law enforcement to Brown, who when confronted by law enforcement, admitted to selling Furanyl Fentanyl to the 26-year-old male the night of his death.

On October 17, 2016, Brown was arrested in Lubbock, Texas, on an unrelated arrest warrant. At the time of his arrest, Brown possessed a vial of .291 net grams of Furanyl Fentanyl. Brown admitted that he typically sold several grams of Furanyl Fentanyl per day.

Besides analgesia, Fentanyl produces a variety of pharmacological effects, including alteration in mood, euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, suppression of cough reflex, constriction of pupils, and impaired gastrointestinal mobility. Fentanyl is a Schedule II controlled substance.

Furanyl Fentanyl is a controlled substance analogue that has a chemical structure substantially similar to Fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act, and has a stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic effect on the central nervous system that is substantially similar to or greater than the stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic effect on the central nervous system of Fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance. A lethal dose of furanyl fentanyl is the equivalent of a single grain of salt.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Lubbock Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Haag and Russell Lorfing prosecuted.

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