El Paso Fentanyl Dealer Receives 20 Year Prison Sentence

An El Paso man, Patrick Harley Chaires, 28, has been sentenced to 240 months in federal prison for the distribution of a controlled substance that resulted in serious bodily injury. The sentencing took place in a federal court in El Paso.

According to court documents, Chaires sold a counterfeit M-30 pill containing fentanyl on January 10. The purchaser consumed the pill and subsequently suffered an overdose due to fentanyl poisoning. Fortunately, the victim was revived after receiving medical care and Naloxone. Chaires was arrested on January 25 following an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas emphasized the dangers of fentanyl and counterfeit pills, stating, “Everyone must be aware of, and take seriously, the dangers of fentanyl and its abundant presence in counterfeit pills being sold on the streets and through social media. As long as fentanyl distribution persists, we will continue to heavily prosecute those responsible for poisoning our communities.”

Acting Special Agent in Charge Eric Castañeda for the DEA’s El Paso Division added, “This 20-year sentence sends a clear message to everyone in our community. The DEA is laser-focused on one goal – saving American lives. Regardless of the quantity of illicit drugs you sell, if you hurt someone in the process, we will build a case against you, and bring this elevated charge to our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s office for your prosecution.”

The investigation was carried out by the Fentanyl Overdose Response Team (FORT) of the DEA’s El Paso Division, which is a part of the West Texas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Initiative. FORT is composed of law enforcement personnel from various agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, Department of Army Criminal Investigations Division, Texas Army National Guard, Texas Department of Public Safety, El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, and El Paso Police Department.