Marysville resident sentenced to 15 years for fentanyl operation

Jose Eduardo Garnica received a shipment from China labeled “Furniture Parts.” It had fentanyl-manufacturing parts.


MARYSVILLE — A Marysville man was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison Wednesday for conducting a fentanyl manufacturing lab out of his garage.

Jose Eduardo Garnica, 34, pleaded guilty in March to three felonies: conspiracy to manufacture and deliver controlled substances, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

His co-defendant, Laura Wilson, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to commit money laundering and drug user in possession of a firearm. She is set to be sentenced in July in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

In June of last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Los Angeles inspected a package shipped from China to Garnica’s address in Marysville, according to court documents. The package was labeled “Furniture Parts,” but inside was equipment to press letters or numbers into pills, according to prosecutors.

Further investigation by federal agents found Garnica received six other packages in Marysville. Wilson, who lived at the residence with Garnica, had 11 guns registered in her name, all bought within a three-month period in 2020.

When investigators searched the home in July, they seized 27 guns and 25 kilograms of fentanyl, according to court records. Agents also seized the pill press and other materials for making counterfeit oxycodone pills in the garage.

Counterfeit oxycodone pills are sometimes called “blues.” They are usually light blue with an “M” and “30” on either side.

Agents also found “kilo sized bricks” of fentanyl, prosecutors alleged. Some of the pills Garnica and Wilson were manufacturing also contained Xylazine — a sedative used in veterinary medicine. The drug is also referred to as “tranq” and is dangerous because it is difficult to treat an overdose when it is mixed with fentanyl, prosecutors wrote.

Garnica agreed to pay more than $71,000 to the owner of the house to “remediate the residence,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In asking for a lengthier sentence of 18 years, Assistant U.S. Attorney Vince Lombardi cited the unique danger of fentanyl and the heavy toll of fatal overdoses.

Garnica’s attorney asked for a sentence of 10 years, arguing Garnica’s abusive childhood and exposure to drugs at a young age doomed him to a life of addiction.

At his sentencing Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Tana Lin said: “This is one of the largest fentanyl seizures in the district. Mr. Garnica had so much fentanyl a hazmat team had to be called in.”

In a letter to the court, Garnica apologized for his actions. He said he saw an opportunity to provide comfort to himself and never run out of his drug of choice.

“I was lying to my family about how I was getting money and lying about getting high. I am ashamed to know that I am responsible for so much pain and letting so many people down,” he wrote. “I spread the addiction to the love of my life. Her only crime was loving me and not asking any questions.”

Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486;; Twitter: @EDHJonTall.

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