A Montebello man who admitted providing a woman with a fatal dose of the synthetic opioid fentanyl and then videotaped himself performing sex acts on the non-responsive victim pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges that could put him behind bars for life.
Edwin Oliva, 30, formally entered his plea to distribution of fentanyl resulting in death and possession with intent to distribute heroin, which together carry a sentence between 30 years and life in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
U.S. District Judge André Birotte Jr. set sentencing for Jan. 7.
“This was a sad case of two young friends who intended to have a night of fun that ended in absolute tragedy,” Oliva’s attorney, Meghan A. Blanco, told City News Service. “It’s one of those tragic cases.”
Oliva told law enforcement officials that the unnamed victim — identified in court papers by the initials B.M. — was an acquaintance who arrived at his home shortly after midnight on Feb. 28, 2019, expecting to purchase cocaine.
Oliva gave the woman drugs, which resulted in a fatal overdose, and admitted to authorities that the white powder he gave her to sniff through a straw was fentanyl, not cocaine.
A pathologist employed by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner concluded the victim died as a result of the effects of fentanyl and alcohol, according to papers filed last month in Los Angeles federal court.
With the woman apparently passed out around 1:15 a.m., Oliva “used his iPhone to record penetrative sex acts” he performed on the victim, according to his plea agreement.
“Defendant did not call 911 or otherwise seek medical care for B.M. until 8:06 a.m.,” the document says. “Paramedics came to the apartment and immediately pronounced B.M. dead.”
During the nearly six hours between the time Oliva learned that the woman was not breathing and when he ultimately called for help, he cleaned his apartment of fentanyl and other evidence of drug trafficking. He then loaded the trunk of a car belonging to his “significant other” with various narcotics, drug paraphernalia and firearms taken from the apartment and parked the car elsewhere, according to his plea agreement.
A federal search warrant led to the discovery of the evidence.
Oliva has been in federal custody for more than two years.