A fentanyl trafficker tied to the rash of juvenile overdoses in Carrollton and Flower Mound pleaded guilty today to a drug crime, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.
Magaly Mejia Cano, 29, was charged via criminal complaint in February. On Tuesday she pleaded guilty to a superseding information charging her with one count of distribution of a controlled substance (fentanyl) to a person under 21 years of age.
“Just 2mg of fentanyl can cut a young life tragically short. Peddling fentanyl pills to teenagers is one of the most callous crimes a trafficker can commit,” said U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton. “With Ms. Cano’s plea today, we are one step closer to getting justice for parents who lost their teens to fentanyl.”
“Those who choose a path of darkness to distribute and pollute our communities with fentanyl, should always be looking over their shoulder because of the relentless efforts of DEA Dallas and our law enforcement partners,” said DEA Dallas Special Agent in Charge Eduardo A. Chávez. “Ms. Cano’s guilty plea is a clear result and warning to those that decide this same path.“
Ms. Cano is the first defendant to enter a guilty plea in the drug distribution scheme, which has been linked to at least 12 juvenile overdoses – three of them fatal – in Carrollton and Flower Mound since September 2022.
Others charged in the conspiracy include: Jason Xavier Villanueva, Luis Eduardo Navarrete, Donovan Jude Andrews, Stephan Paul Brinson, Robert Alexander Gaitan, and Rafael Soliz, Jr.
In plea papers, Ms. Cano admitted that co-defendant Luis Navarrete routinely dealt fentanyl-laced pills to juveniles from his Highland Drive residence. The round blue pills, imprinted with M/30, resembled prescription narcotics, but were in actuality clandestinely produced fakes.
In plea papers, Ms. Cano said Mr. Navarrete stored the counterfeit pills near their front door of their Carrollton residence and distributed them to customers who came by the house – including a network of juvenile dealers who dealt to other minors.
On at least three occasions, Ms. Cano admitted, she distributed pills directly to customers, including a 16-year-old, at Mr. Navarrete’s direction.
Ms. Cano now faces up to 40 years in federal prison and a $2 million fine. Her co-defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Office and the Carrollton Police Department conducted the investigation with the assistance of School Resource Officers from the Carrollton – Farmer’s Branch Independent School District and the Lewisville Independent School District. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phelesa Guy and Rick Calvert are prosecuting the case.