NCIS: On October 2, a former marine admitted that he aided and abetted in the distribution of pills with detectable quantities of oxycodone and fentanyl. The pills reportedly resulted in the death of another marine who took them during a party. According to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina Former Camp Lejeune Marine 24-year-old Marcos Jamie Villegas from St. Charles Illinois pleaded guilty in a federal court before United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. Events leading to the plea began on April 14, 2017, after Villegas and 20-year-old United States Marine Corporal Mark M. Mambulao attended a party in a North Carolina residence.
In the course of the party, Villegas gave Mambulao pills that he and Marine Sergeant Anthony P. Tognietti had purchased from a dark web drug vendor. On the vendor’s advert, the pills had reportedly been described as oxycodone laced with fentanyl. On the morning of April 15, 2017, Villegas found Mambulao unconscious. Mambulao was immediately rushed to Onslow Memorial Hospital, North Carolina, where he died shortly after arrival. An autopsy on Mambulao’s body revealed that he had succumbed to a fentanyl overdose. The discovery led to investigations by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS).
A few weeks after the Mambulao’s death, the investigators found and seized similar pills from Villegas’s barracks room. The pills tested positive for fentanyl. Analysis of Villegas’s phone revealed that he had been discussing drug purchase plans with his accomplice. Further investigations by the NCIS in partnership with the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) showed that the pills purchased by Villegas and Tognietti had originated from an illicit drugs manufacturer and dark web vendor based in Texas.
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