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Man Pleads Guilty To Selling of Fentanyl-Laced Drugs From Damascus Residence

A Gaithersburg man has pleaded guilty to selling fentanyl-laced drugs which caused the death of a man in Montgomery County.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Maryland announced last week that Leandro Acevedo Lozada, age 33, of Gaithersburg, pleaded guilty on Thursday, July 5 to: conspiracy to distribute fentanyl; possession of acetyl fentanyl and cocaine; and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to his plea agreement, from January 2017 through February 2017, Lozada conspired to distribute acetyl fentanyl and cocaine. Lozada distributed the drugs to street dealers and drug users, including co-defendant Bradley Seabolt. Although Lozada was not certain of the exact chemical compounds contained in opioids he sold, the appearance and strength of the drugs caused Lozada to suspect it was fentanyl. Because the opioids Lozada sold were so strong, he used powdered sugar to dilute them, in an effort to both expand its volume and his profit, and to make the drugs safer for his customers.

On January 11, 2017, Seabolt sold drugs containing both acetyl fentanyl and fentanyl to an individual in Montgomery County, who subsequently died from ingesting the drugs. Seabolt had obtained the drugs from Lozada. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that the victim died from fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl, and cocaine intoxication.

On February 17, 2017, a search warrant was executed at residences used by Lozada in Damascus and Gaithersburg. From the residence in Damascus, law enforcement recovered: 147 grams of a substance that contained both acetyl fentanyl and fentanyl; approximately 23 grams of cocaine; a bag of powdered sugar used by Lozada as a cutting agent for his opioids; $4,452 in cash; and a digital scale. From the residence in Gaithersburg, law enforcement recovered a .45-caliber handgun belonging to Lozada. Lozada had a previous felony conviction, which prohibited him from legally possessing the firearm.

Bradley Seabolt, age 30, of Gaithersburg, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances on December 19, 2017, and is awaiting sentencing.

Lozada and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Lozada will be sentenced to at least 10 years, but no more than 20 years, in prison. U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm has scheduled sentencing for October 12, 2018 at 1:00 pm.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the DEA and the Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Bernstein, who is prosecuting the case.

File photo.

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