Riverside County Man Sentenced to 12 Years for Supplying Fatal Dose of Fentanyl

Samuel Leo Mussaw, a 26-year-old resident of San Jacinto, has been sentenced to 12 years in state prison after admitting to supplying a fatal dose of fentanyl to an acquaintance, Adam Young, aged 23. Mussaw pleaded guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter and possession of controlled substances for sale under a plea agreement with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. In exchange for his admissions, prosecutors dropped a second-degree murder charge against him.

The sentencing, certified by Superior Court Judge Jorge Hernandez at the Banning Justice Center, followed Mussaw’s acknowledgment that the fentanyl he provided led to Young’s death on March 4, 2021. Responding to a possible drug overdose call in the 900 block of Cypress Drive, deputies and paramedics found Young unconscious and unresponsive in his residence.

Subsequent investigation traced the source of the fatal fentanyl dose to Mussaw. A search warrant executed at his residence on North Dillon Road uncovered three firearms, a stash of cash, and approximately 2,000 M-30 pills of fentanyl. Mussaw was arrested without resistance.

The case underscores the grave consequences of fentanyl abuse, with Mussaw becoming one of over two dozen individuals charged with murder in fentanyl-related incidents countywide. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office recently closed its first fentanyl murder case resulting in a jury conviction. Vicente David Romero, 34, received a sentence of 15 years to life in prison for his involvement in the 2020 death of a Temecula woman.

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Preliminary data from the county Department of Public Health reveals a 23% decline in fentanyl-related fatalities in 2023 compared to the previous year, although the drug remains a significant public health concern. Manufactured in overseas labs, predominantly in China, fentanyl is smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border by cartels, posing a potent threat due to its extreme potency. With ingestion of just two milligrams proving fatal, fentanyl continues to be a leading cause of death among young Americans aged 18 to 45.

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