Man Takes Fentanyl Plea Deal, Warned He Could be Charged with Murder if ‘Customer’ Died


By Hannah Adams


MODESTO, CA – Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Shawn Bessey Friday sentenced to jail Dustin Perry, who was found with 17.15 grams of fentanyl when on searchable probation in July—Perry was also warned fentanyl was “extremely dangerous to human life” and he could be charged with murder if someone died after buying it from him.


The court was told officers on-scene said they found $116 cash in Perry’s pocket, $65 loose cash and $360 banded together in his residence. They also said they recovered drug paraphernalia and brass knuckles.


Deputy District Attorney Harshan Samra informed the court if the matter had gone to a preliminary hearing, an expert would report the crime scene indicated the possession of fentanyl was for the purpose of sale.


But instead of opting for a trial, Perry pleaded no contest to one felony count of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of sale; a second count was dismissed by a Harvey waiver (allowing for consideration in sentencing), noting that the pair of brass knuckles in Perry’s possession would be destroyed.


Judge Bessey sentenced Perry to one year in custody, and he will be on two years of probation after release. Perry had credits of 88 days served in custody that were deducted from his 365-day jail sentence. If Perry fails his terms of probation, he could be sent back to jail the remainder of his four-year sentence.


Perry testified he understood the consequences of his felony conviction, stating he entered his no contest plea by his own volition. Bessey explained Perry’s constitutional rights in terms of the case’s legal proceedings; Perry agreed that he understood his rights.

DDA Samra advised Perry of the lethality of fentanyl and the dangers associated with it.


“The defendant is so advised that fentanyl use is extremely dangerous to human life. The defendant is advised that if he continues to sell fentanyl, and as a result of the defendant selling fentanyl to an individual who then dies by overdosing, the defendant can be charged with murder,” DDA Samra said. Perry agreed that he understood.


The court determined Perry to be eligible and suitable for probation; after explaining the conditions of his probation, the court remanded Perry to custody.


He is expected to be released from custody and begin his probation after 276 more days.

About The Author

Hannah is a first-year undergraduate student at University of California, Santa Barbara. She is majoring in English and currently is involved with two campus newspapers. She is anticipating on graduating early and attending law school. She hopes to continue her passion for writing in a law-related career.

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