‘Prominent’ El Paso fentanyl dealer sentenced to 10 years in prison as crackdown continues
A middle-aged El Paso man described as a “prominent fentanyl dealer” was recently sentenced to more than 10 years in prison as the federal crackdown on the potentially deadly drug continues.
Gary Everett Rinker, 56, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to selling fentanyl pills from an El Paso hotel room to an informant as part of an investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, federal court documents said.
Rinker was sentenced last month to more than 10 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release as part of a plea agreement that dismissed two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
“This defendant was a prominent fentanyl dealer in the El Paso community and will spend the next decade off our streets, due in large part to his extensive drug-related criminal history dating back to 2007,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas. In the current situation.
more: An El Paso fentanyl dealer was sentenced to 20 years in prison for selling $3 worth of pills linked to the poisoning
According to an affidavit of complaint filed by an FBI agent, Rinker sold fentanyl pills to an informant on three occasions last June during undercover drug buys in a hotel room that were recorded on audio and video by federal agents. The name of the hotel was not revealed.
The undercover buyer had contacted Brinker to purchase “Blues,” a nickname for the small, fake blue pills laced with fentanyl, with an M on one side and a 30 (also known as “M30” pills), designed to look like fake oxycodone. .
Rinker was accused of selling about 200 fentanyl pills for $600 during each of two sales, then selling 85 rainbow-colored pills and a small plastic bag containing 15 grams of crystal methamphetamine for $365 in the third transaction, the affidavit stated. He was arrested on July 12.
“Fentanyl continues to be a significant threat to our communities, taking the lives of our neighbors, friends and loved ones who, in many cases, do not even realize they are using this drug,” FBI El Paso Special Agent in Charge John. Morales said in a statement.
Court documents said Rinker had prior substance abuse problems and had undergone drug counseling. It is not uncommon for drug addicts to sell drugs to help support their addiction.
El Paso County court records show Rinker has been facing multiple drug convictions for more than a decade.
In 2011, Rinker was arrested along with Dennis Brackett and a woman in connection with the crime Sex trafficking of a 16-year-old girl In El Paso. The girl told investigators that the couple promised to feed her cocaine addiction and provide housing, food and clothing if she prostituted herself, according to El Paso Times archives.
Rinker pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess cocaine base with intent to distribute and was sentenced to seven months in federal prison, records state. The sex trafficking charge against him was dropped. Brackett pleaded guilty to a forced labor charge. The case against the woman was dropped.
FORT targets fentanyl dealers
Rinker’s conviction is among the recent El Paso cases that have resulted in lengthy federal prison sentences for fentanyl peddlers, particularly for overdoses.
The fentanyl cases are being investigated by the DEA’s Fentanyl Overdose Response Team, known by the acronym FORT.
“Our Fentanyl Overdose Response Team (FORT) doesn’t just investigate fentanyl-related deaths,” said Tawanda Thorne James, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s El Paso Division.
“By putting Mr. Rinker behind bars, FORT acted proactively to save lives. Rinker was not the first fentanyl dealer targeted by FORT, and he will not be the last.”
This article originally appeared in the El Paso Times: ‘Prominent’ El Paso fentanyl dealer sentenced to 10 years in prison