LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Two active-duty United States Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton were arrested Tuesday on drug trafficking charges which prosecutors say are linked to a fatal drug overdose in May.
The 14-count grand jury indictment charges five people – including three civilians from Southern California – with conspiring to distribute narcotics – including oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl – to civilians and members of the United States Marine Corps (USMC), according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
A second Marine is charged in the indictment with being an accessory after the fact.
The defendants were identified as:
· Jordan Nicholas McCormick, 26, of Palmdale, who prosecutors say provided LSD, ecstasy, cocaine, and oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl to co-conspirators;
· Gustavo Jaciel Solis, 24, of Sylmar, who allegedly distributed McCormick’s drugs to civilians and military personnel;
· Anthony Ruben Whisenant, 20, a USMC lance corporal who allegedly distributed narcotics to active service members, including an active-duty Marine who died after ingesting an oxycodone pill laced with fentanyl purchased from Solis;
· Jessica Sarah Perez, 23, of Pacoima, who allegedly distributed narcotics including fentanyl and cocaine to the conspiracy’s civilian customers; and
· Ryan Douglas White, 22, a USMC lance corporal who is charged with being an accessory after the fact for allegedly attempting to hinder law enforcement’s apprehension of Whisenant and Solis.
According to prosecutors, the conspiracy lasted from November 2019 to September 2020 and involved multiple sales of fentanyl-laced oxycodone to an undercover buyer, often for amounts exceeding $1,000 per buy.
On May 22, Solis allegedly sold 10 pills of oxycodone laced with fentanyl to an active-duty Marine who died of a drug overdose in the early morning hours of May 23.
Whisenant and White were taken into federal custody and are expected to make their initial appearances Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
If convicted, McCormick and Solis would face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Whisenant and Perez would face a statutory maximum of 20 years in federal prison if convicted. White, if convicted, would face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.