SAN DIEGO, California.— A federal court jury convicted a local area man Tuesday of distributing fentanyl that led to the fatal overdose of an active-duty lance corporal in the United States Marine Corps on May 21, 2020. This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
According to evidence presented at trial, Nameer Mohammad Atta, of San Diego, sold counterfeit “M30” pills in April and May 2020 to the Marine, identified in court records as C.M.R., knowing that these pills are counterfeit oxycodone pills that contain illicit fentanyl. Atta used social media to market and arrange sales of these pills, referring to them as the “most trusted” in San Diego, and in text messages as the “most trusted” and “most potent” in the area. Atta referred to these pills as “M30s,” “Percs” and “Perc30s,” nicknames for fentanyl-laced pills. Atta’s final sale to C.M.R. occurred on May 20, 2020. C.M.R. died from an overdose the next day.
“This conviction is the result of painstaking work carried out by brave law enforcement officers in an effort to continue to keep these dangerous and deadly drugs out of our communities,” said Chad Plantz, special agent in charge for HSI San Diego. “HSI, alongside our partners, will continue to identify and investigate those who seek to introduce lethal drugs into our communities.”
“This verdict again demonstrates the resolve of this office to hold to account those whose callous actions result in overdose deaths,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “Fentanyl kills indiscriminately, and tragically here it took the life of a Marine. We will continue to seek justice on behalf of victims.” Grossman thanked the prosecution team and investigators of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service for their efforts leading the investigation that led to the verdict, as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations for their invaluable support.
“The illicit distribution and use of fentanyl in the United States poses a critical threat to our local communities, our nation’s service members, and ultimately our national security,” said Special Agent in Charge Todd Battaglia of the NCIS Marine West Field Office. “NCIS extends gratitude to our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their efforts to bring Mr. Atta to justice for his role in the death of a U.S. Marine. We will continue to work aggressively with our partners to eliminate this threat to the Department of the Navy.”
“Once again, we’ve seen a life cut short by fentanyl in fake pills. DEA and its Overdose Response Team will continue to pursue the dealers and manufacturers who sell this poison,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Shelly Howe. “The only safe pill is one that comes from your doctor or a legitimate pharmacy.”
Atta is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 10, 2023, before U.S. District Court Judge Todd W. Robinson.
HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 86 overseas locations in 55 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.