A major drug trafficker linked to a string of juvenile fentanyl overdoses in north Texas pleaded guilty today to multiple drug crimes.
Jason Xavier Villanueva, 22, was charged via criminal complaint in February and indicted later that same month. On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and distribution of fentanyl to a person under 21 years of age.
In plea papers, Villanueva admitted he distributed more than 200,000 fentanyl pills to north Texas customers over the course of five or six months, at a rate of about 40,000 pills per month. He sold the pills – round blue tablets marked M-30 – to a network of juvenile and adult dealers in Carrollton, who went on to sell to friends, classmates, and other customers. He often advertised on Instagram.
Villanueva, through his lower-level dealers, is tied to as many as ten overdoses of nine teenagers in the Carrollton Farmer’s Branch Independent School District. The victims, all middle and high school students, ranged in age from 13 to 17.
Following the arrest of two of these lower-level dealers – Eduardo Navarrete and Magaly Cano – Villanueva posted on social media, “Only thing that’s gonna stop us is feds.”
Villanueva is the third defendant charged in the wake of the Carrollton / Flower Mound juvenile overdoses to enter a guilty plea. Magaly Cano and Stephen Paul Brinson pleaded guilty last month; five other defendants, including Navarrete, have been charged but not yet convicted. (All are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.)
Villanueva now faces up to 40 years in federal prison. His sentencing is slated for Wednesday, Oct. 4.