Stockton - District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar announced that on Friday March 12, 2021, Francisco Jimenez, age 23, pled guilty to a manslaughter charge as a result of selling illegal drugs to a young man who subsequently overdosed and died. Mr. Jimenez was sentenced by the Honorable Ronald J. Northup to 4 years and 4 months in state prison.
"This is a tragic case that highlights the particularly dangerous nature of fentanyl, an opioid that has become increasingly more popular and widespread in many communities across the U.S., including our own in San Joaquin County," said San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. "This was the first-of-its-kind prosecution to hold those accountable who dare to sell dangerous and deadly drugs in this county."
According to official records, the defendant had been buying and selling "percocets" or "M-30s" since late November 2019, and the relevant drug sale in this case happened on or around December 29, 2019. The victim in this case was a 25-year-old man who was visiting Tracy, California with a friend while on leave from the United States Navy. They purchased 10 pills from Mr. Jimenez.
The investigation by Tracy Police Department revealed that at the time the defendant sold the pills, he knew that another customer (a juvenile male) had taken some from the same batch and had overdosed, but survived. In addition, before the time of the sale, Mr. Jimenez had tried part of a pill himself and had gotten extremely sick. He was therefore aware the pills he sold were from a contaminated batch, otherwise known as a "hot batch."
The victim consumed the pills at a Motel 6 in Tracy, California, became gravely ill, and was taken to the hospital. He passed away in early January 2020. The cause of death was an overdose of fentanyl.
District Attorney Salazar would like to thank Deputy District Attorney Cindy De Silva who originally charged this first-of-its-kind case, and Deputy District Attorney Lisa Mann for successfully prosecuting it. She would also like to recognize the hard work of Victim-Witness Supervisor Gabriel Jaurequi who navigated the family through the court process despite them living across the country.
Please see the Victim Impact Statement that DDA Mann read in court on behalf of the victim's mother below.
If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please contact San Joaquin County Behavioral Health 24 hours a day at 209-468-9370 or 1-888-468-9370.
I am the mother of the victim in this case who lost his life on January 2, 2020 after taking opioids given to him by someone he knew. My son was a young adult, happy and full of life with the ability to decide between right and wrong, but he made a bad decision that cost him his life and everything that he wanted to accomplish in this world. He had hopes of becoming an electrical engineer one day. Our lives will never be the same without him as he was part of our family and a part of me, but with God's favor and help, life continues, and we must move forward. Just like my son made a bad decision, so did Mr. Jimenez, as they never thought about the consequences of their actions. They only thought about living in the moment and making a few dollars. Money being made off taking advantage of someone else always ends badly, therefore I hope Mr. Jimenez understands that living off other's weaknesses does not produce anything good. All those bad actions do is help push someone towards their death. Everything in life comes with consequences; if we act with good intentions the benefits will be good, but if we act with bad intentions the consequences will be bad and we will have to live with that on our conscience for the rest of our lives. I hope that those involved in my son's unnecessary death are able to think their actions through and think about the value of life. Only God gives life and only He can take it away.
I am not here to condemn Mr. Jimenez or request that he be punished to the fullest for his actions. The only thing that I would like to accomplish through writing this Victim Statement is to help him understand that his actions affected more than just my son. The loss of my son affected his parents, his brothers, his extended family, and all those who knew him. Mr. Jimenez is young and still has the opportunity of having a dignified life with a purpose set forth by God, and a future where he is able to be a better person with a clear vision of the value of others' lives. I trust that God will help Mr. Jimenez in realizing the severity of what has taken place and his actions. I also hope that what happened to my family does not happen to any other family because the pain derived from the loss of someone is massive and it's a void that can never be filled.