Luis Eduardo Navarrete, a key figure in the Carrollton and Flower Mound juvenile fentanyl overdose case, has pleaded guilty to drug-related charges, as announced by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Leigha Simonton.
The 21-year-old Navarrete was charged via a criminal complaint in February and subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury on March 29, 2023. Navarrete, along with ten other defendants, faced charges in connection with multiple students from the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District who overdosed after consuming counterfeit M30 pills containing fentanyl. On Wednesday, Navarrete admitted guilt to one count of conspiracy to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance (fentanyl) and one count of distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance (fentanyl) to a person under 21 years of age, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma Carrillo Ramirez.
In related plea documents, co-defendants revealed that Navarrete was regularly involved in distributing fentanyl-laced pills to juveniles from his residence on Highland Drive in Carrollton, Texas. In December 2022, Navarrete, who was already on bond in a separate Dallas County criminal case, was placed under home confinement and fitted with an ankle monitor to track his movements. He relied on his co-conspirators to source counterfeit round blue pills containing fentanyl from a supplier based in Dallas and had them delivered to his Carrollton residence. Navarrete stored the counterfeit pills near the front door of his home and distributed them to customers, including a network of juvenile dealers who then sold the pills to other minor students attending R.L. Turner High School, Dewitt Perry Middle School, and Dan F. Long Middle School in Carrollton.
Tragically, in December 2022, a thirteen-year-old Dewitt Perry Middle School student lost their life due to an overdose after ingesting a counterfeit M30 pill containing fentanyl. In January 2023, a fourteen-year-old student at Dan F. Long Middle School also fatally overdosed after consuming a counterfeit M30 pill. On February 1, 2023, a seventeen-year-old R.L. Turner High School student suffered the same fate after ingesting a counterfeit M30 pill.
Mr. Navarrete now faces a potential sentence of up to 40 years in federal prison for each count and may be subject to fines of up to $7 million. His sentencing is scheduled for February 21, 2024.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Office, in collaboration with the Carrollton Police Department, conducted the investigation with support from School Resource Officers from the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rick Calvert and Phelesa Guy are prosecuting the case.