Ocean Beach man sentenced to over 12 years in prison for another man’s fatal fentanyl overdose

Court gavel

An Ocean Beach man was sentenced Sept. 23 to more than 12 years in federal prison for selling fentanyl that led to another man’s overdose death in 2020.

Anthony Souza, 46, sold counterfeit pills that led to the death of Chad Stevens, 28, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Souza pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl, officials said. In his plea agreement, he admitted to selling Stevens pills in late 2019 that led to “a near-fatal overdose’’ that afterward hampered Stevens’ ability to walk.

After Stevens’ overdose, Souza threatened him in a text message to “keep your mouth shut’’ about where he got the pills, prosecutors said in court documents.

Souza sold Stevens more pills six months later, which this time led to Stevens’ death, prosecutors said.

Souza was arrested in June 2020, and a subsequent search of his home turned up 183 counterfeit pills, 115 grams of cocaine and other drugs, according to the prosecution’s sentencing papers.

“The word needs to get out,” U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who imposed a 150-month sentence, said at Souza’s sentencing hearing. “The message needs to be clear that individuals who partake in the distribution of drugs — and particularly this deadly drug, fentanyl ... will receive a sentence in excess of 10 years.”


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