According to the Las Vegas Sun, a Henderson woman pleaded guilty in federal court to selling counterfeit prescription pills that contained fentanyl. The pills sold by Tianna Cordova caused the fatal overdose of 26-year-old Christina Kuerner. Court documents stated that Cordova promoted her drug business online by using “coded language.” In May 2018, the defendant sold $600 worth of oxycodone and Adderall pills in her apartment to an individual working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The next visit by DEA came in the form of a search warrant the following month. At that time, agents found “various amounts” of oxycodone, hydrocodone, alprazolam, cash, and four firearms. Law enforcement arrested Cordova and Robert James Thornburg, the man living with her. Both waived their Miranda rights and spoke with investigators. Thornburg admitted that he knew about Cordova’s activities and even participated a few times, including a car chase that ended with guns drawn after a dealer sold Cordova some fake pills. Cordova confessed to investigators that she sold drugs and told them about selling pills to Christina Kuerner before her death. According to the plea agreement, Kuerner died from a multiple drug intoxication involving fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl, and citalopram.
According to a U.S. Department of Justice press release announcing the plea, Cordova faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine when she is sentenced in February 2019. The DEA, with the assistance of the Clark County Coroner’s Office, investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon C. Jaroch prosecuted the case.
If you would like to learn more what fentanyl is and how it gets into counterfeit pills, we encourage you to read PSM’s Fentanyl 101.