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Dallas, Texas News

Dallas County Jury Hands Down 30-Year Prison Term in First Fentanyl Dealing Case

Richard Leal

In a landmark decision, the Office of Dallas County Criminal District Attorney John Creuzot has secured a thirty-year prison sentence in the first fentanyl dealing case tried and sentenced before a Dallas County jury.

Richard Leal, 33, was found guilty of the Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance Greater than or Equal to 4 grams but less than 200 grams on April 4, 2024, resulting in a three-decade-long incarceration.

Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, is known to be up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Merely 2 milligrams of fentanyl, equivalent to 10 to 15 grains of table salt, can be lethal.

Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot remarked, “This significant sentencing marks a pivotal moment in our ongoing efforts to combat the distribution of deadly opioids like fentanyl in Dallas County. My office remains committed to holding accountable those who profit from spreading such dangerous substances within our communities."

Andrew Anagnostis, Chief of the Organized Crime Division, echoed this sentiment, stating, “The prosecutors of the Organized Crime Division are committed to the fight against those who deliver poisons like fentanyl to our streets.”

The case against Leal began on February 18, 2023, when the Dallas Police Department was conducting a search for a wanted individual at an address where Leal was present. Following Leal's departure from the address, covert officers initiated surveillance and subsequently pulled him over for multiple traffic violations. During the stop, law enforcement discovered Leal in possession of a shoulder satchel containing various illegal substances, including fentanyl pills, cocaine, methamphetamine pills, Alprazolam pills, and marijuana. In a subsequent police interview, Leal revealed details about his involvement in distributing thousands of pills and bricks as samples to his associates.

District Attorney Creuzot emphasized, "The conviction and sentencing of Mr. Leal underscore the grave threat that fentanyl poses to public health and safety. We must continue our collaborative efforts to educate the public about the risks associated with opioids and ensure access to life-saving interventions like Narcan."

Acknowledgments were extended to Assistant District Attorneys Antoinette Wood and Michael Chang, as well as Investigator Alex Lipsey, for their dedicated work on the case.

What is Naloxone? 

Naloxone (Brand name: Narcan) is a medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids — including fentanyl. If you or someone you know is at risk of an opioid overdose, speak with your doctor or pharmacist about obtaining naloxone to carry and keep at home. It is recommended to keep at least three doses on hand at a time. A prescription is not required.

Signs of an overdose:

  • Small, constricted “pinpoint pupils”
  • Face is extremely pale and/or feels cold or clammy to the touch
  • Body goes limp
  • Fingernails or lips have a purple or blue color
  • Vomiting or making gurgling noises
  • Cannot be awakened or unable to speak
  • Breathing or heartbeat slows or stops

How to save a life:

  1. Call 911 right away
  2. Try to wake the person up
  3. Give naloxone, if available
  4. Begin rescue breathing or CPR
  5. Turn the person on their side to prevent choking
  6. Stay with the person until emergency services arrive


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