THE FENTANYL FALLOUT: Judge Denies Bond Reduction for Greybull Man Accused of Dealing Fentanyl
Anthony M. Fuentes will remain in jail pending July jury trial
- Published In: Criminal Justice
- Last Updated: Jun 24, 2023
Anthony M. Fuentes, 36, is currently being held on a $100,000 cash bond related to his four felony charges for possession and delivery of a controlled substance. (Courtesy photo from Big Horn County Sheriff's Office)
By Jennifer Kocher
Special to the Wyoming Truth
A Greybull man accused of selling fentanyl-laced pills that led to the accidental overdose death of a Cody man will remain in jail until his trial in July.
Big Horn County District Judge Bobbi Overfield on Friday denied Anthony Michael Fuentes’ request to be released from jail on a lesser bond. He’s currently being held in the Big Horn County Detention Center on a $100,000 cash bond.
Fuentes, 36, has been charged with four felony counts for delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, as well as a misdemeanor for possession of a controlled substance.
The case is connected to the Jan. 2 death of 25-year-old of Jordan Jackson, of Cody, who is referred to as “J.J.” in the charging documents. Jackson allegedly purchased two counterfeit Oxycodone pills from Fuentes.
Fuentes initially admitted to obtaining 40 suspected fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills in Denver, Colorado, two of which he sold to “J.J.” on Jan. 2, according to court documents. To date, Fuentes has not been charged for any crimes related to Jackson’s death, though Big Horn County prosecutor Marcia Bean alluded in Friday’s bond hearing that criminal charges against Fuentes in Big Horn County are forthcoming.
This admission came as a surprise to Fuentes’ attorney, Christina Cherni, who said it was the first she had heard of any additional charges against her client. In the hearing, Cherni argued the bond on which Fuentes is currently being held is excessive in comparison to similar crimes, which she said typically received $10,000 to $20,000 cash or surety bonds.
Cherni further argued Fuentes be released on bond in order to allow him to work and continue with his substance abuse treatment program that, she said, he would attend four to five days a week.
Cherni also stated that Fuentes, who is originally from Colorado with family still in Colorado, has ties locally and is not a flight risk or a threat to the community. She claimed Fuentes would adhere to all conditions of bond set by the court.
Bean countered Cherni, arguing that the gravity of his alleged crimes made him a risk to the community.
“It is the state’s position that this is a very serious case,” Bean said, “and is a case involving probably one of the most dangerous controlled substances facing not only the United States, but in the state of Wyoming.”
Bean further cautioned the court that Fuentes used Signal, an end-to-end encrypted communication app with a disappearing message function, to allegedly sell pills locally. The app is designed to evade detection by law enforcement and others, Bean explained, making it impossible for the court to know whether Fuentes is dealing drugs.
Bean said the video and other evidence against Fuentes strongly suggest that he did sell the laced pills to “J.J.” and others. Given the dangerous nature of the drug, she argued, Fuentes is a danger to the community.
“We already know what the danger is. We already know that that fentanyl is like a loaded gun,” Bean said. “And he’s selling a loaded gun to a person who passed away in Park County…and it is an extremely lethal controlled substance.”
Overfield considered the arguments and said the bond would remain as is.
Following an earlier postponement granted by the court, Fuentes’ five-day jury trial is scheduled to begin on July 17 in Big Horn County District Court with jury selection set for next week. So far, there has been no venue change despite Cherni’s request that the trial be moved to another county.