A Sherman Oaks man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a federal charge of distributing fentanyl that resulted in the overdose deaths of two people.

Trent Michael Tomasovich, 28, was arrested Tuesday by the Los Angeles Police Department and remains in federal custody, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Tomasovich allegedly sold fentanyl to a 24-year-old woman who took the drug at a Woodland Hills apartment and died during the early morning hours of July 14, 2018. The woman was visiting a friend, who found her unresponsive and then summoned paramedics, according to federal prosecutors.

Several hours later, the boyfriend of another woman who lived in the Woodland Hills apartment found the narcotics that the deceased woman had purchased. Ignoring his girlfriend’s request to dispose of the drugs, the 38-year-old man consumed the fentanyl and suffered a fatal overdose, according to the indictment.

“The two overdose deaths alleged in this case are a stark reminder that the explosion of fentanyl trafficking is causing death and misery across the nation,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna. “People who deal in fentanyl should be on notice that federal authorities are aggressively investigating deaths linked to illegal opioids, and we can seek stiff federal mandatory minimum prison sentences for dealers who sell narcotics that cause fatal overdoses.”

According to court documents, Tomasovich has a history of being investigated by law enforcement for narcotics trafficking. In 2017, Tomasovich was identified on wiretapped phone calls as being a customer of a heroin delivery service that was the subject of a federal grand jury indictment, but he was not charged in that case, according to prosecutors.

In early 2018, after he offered heroin for sale on Craigslist, Tomasovich sold heroin during an undercover operation conducted by the Glendale Police Department, which led to his conviction for drug trafficking offenses in Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The narcotics-trafficking charge in the indictment carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison and a potential sentence of life without parole.

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