AUSTIN (KXAN) — Three Central Texans were indicted by a federal grand jury in Austin on five counts related to fentanyl distribution resulting in death and serious bodily injury.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a man and two women were accused of possessing and selling counterfeit oxycodone and other fake prescription pills with traceable amounts of fentanyl, leading to the death of at least one person.
The DOJ said David Lee Jr., 45, and Virginia Zepeda, 43, of Austin, along with Jackie Lynne Chester, 36, of Taylor, have each made their initial court appearances.
Lee was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, one count of distribution of fentanyl causing death and serious bodily injury and three counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of fentanyl. Zepeda and Chester were each charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl.
If convicted, Lee faces up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy charge, 20 years to life imprisonment on the distribution causing death charge and 40 years imprisonment on each of the three possession charges. He pleaded not guilty to all charges on Jan. 11, 2023. Zepeda and Chestereach face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Zepeda and Chester are each charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl. If
convicted, they each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
According to the DOJ, a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.