Texas Man Sentenced to Over 8 Years in Federal Prison for Possession with Intent to Distribute Fentanyl

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — Eufracio Rodriguez, Jr., 52, of Lamesa, Texas, was sentenced to over 8 years in federal prison after earlier pleading guilty to possession with the intent to distribute over 40 grams of fentanyl.

Evidence obtained in the investigation revealed that, on September 17, 2022, officers and investigators with the Columbia Police Department (CPD) worked in conjunction with federal agents and officers assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Atlanta-Carolinas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program (ACHIDTA) Task Force in Columbia to conduct an investigation into Rodriguez’ possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl.

CPD conducted a traffic stop on a car in which Rodriguez was a passenger. During the stop, the driver gave permission to search the car, and Rodriguez admitted to possessing drugs inside the car. Law enforcement located 20 bags of pills which tested positive for fentanyl. The total weight of the fentanyl pills was 2,188 grams. Rodriguez admitted to purchasing the fentanyl pills in Atlanta, Georgia, for between $13,000 and $16,000 and transporting them to South Carolina for distribution.

United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis sentenced Rodriguez to 97 months in prison, to be followed by a 4-year term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.

This prosecution is part of a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program (HIDTA) investigation. HIDTA is a grant program purposed with improving public safety and well-being by disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking and money laundering organizations through intelligence-driven multi-jurisdictional operations; enhancing the safety and effectiveness of law enforcement operations through training; and improving communication and information sharing among criminal justice, drug prevention, and drug treatment professionals in support of the objectives as administered by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Additional information can be found at https://www.achidta.org/, https://www.dea.gov/operations/hidta, and https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/.

The DEA ACHIDTA Task Force in Columbia is comprised of agents and officers from the DEA, United States Postal Inspection Service, Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Department of Public Safety for the City of Orangeburg, and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Bales is prosecuting the case.

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