Sylmar man who sold pills that killed Marine pleads guilty to federal drug charges

A Sylmar man who sold fentanyl-laced pills that caused a 20-year-old U.S. Marine’s death in 2020 pleaded guilty Friday to federal drug charges, officials said.

Gustavo Jaciel Solis, 25, entered pleas on one count each of participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy and distributing fentanyl resulting in death, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California.

Solis was charged in 2020 with being part of a ring that distributed drugs to civilians and Marines, prosecutors said.

He admitted that he “would advertise his controlled substances for sale through his Snapchat account username, ‘huf_75,’ and display name, ‘Gusto928,’” according to a plea agreement filed Tuesday.

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,” prosecutors said.

He obtained 1,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl from a co-defendant and posted a picture of several pills to Snapchat with the caption, “Who f*** with M30s? Tapp in,” prosecutors said.

According to the indictment, Solis sold 10 oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl to an active-duty Marine on May 22. A day later, the Marine died of a drug overdose, according to court documents.

Prosecutors said the Marine was stationed at Camp Pendleton.

In his plea agreement, Solis admitted to orchestrating other drug deals, including with a Naval Criminal Investigative Service undercover agent, prosecutors said.

The deals with the agent involved several types of illegal drugs, including cocaine, LSD and more fentanyl-laced, fake oxycodone pills, prosecutors said.

Solis was arrested on July 29, 2020, prosecutors said. Investigators seized drugs and several guns, including a 9-millimeter “ghost gun,” from his residence.

He has remained in federal custody since his arrest, prosecutors said.

A superseding indictment filed in September 2020 named Solis and four other defendants, who are:

  • Jordan Nicholas McCormick, 27, of Palmdale, the lead defendant and the conspiracy’s alleged supplier who provided LSD, ecstasy, cocaine and oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl.
  • Anthony Ruben Whisenant, 22, a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, who allegedly aided and abetted the distribution of the fentanyl-laced pills purchased from Solis that resulted in L.M.’s fatal overdose.
  • Jessica Sarah Perez, 25, of Pacoima, who distributed narcotics including fentanyl and cocaine to the conspiracy’s civilian customers.
  • Ryan Douglas White, 24, a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, who is charged with being an accessory after the fact for allegedly attempting to hinder law enforcement’s apprehension of Whisenant and Solis.

Solis is scheduled for sentencing Aug.17, prosecutors said. He will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for the fentanyl charge, and potential life sentences for each of the narcotics offenses.

Perez pleaded guilty on Jan. 26 to conspiring to distribute narcotics, prosecutors said. She is scheduled to be sentenced May 11.

The remaining three defendants are scheduled to go on trial June 21, prosecutors said.

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