Greybull man charged with manslaughter for 2023 overdose in Cody

Posted 1/16/24

Last month, a Greybull man received a three- to five-year prison sentence for possessing and selling fentanyl-laced pills in Big Horn County. Now, Park County prosecutors are seeking additional …

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Greybull man charged with manslaughter for 2023 overdose in Cody


Last month, a Greybull man received a three- to five-year prison sentence for possessing and selling fentanyl-laced pills in Big Horn County. Now, Park County prosecutors are seeking additional punishment for Anthony M. Fuentes, alleging some of his pills caused the death of a Cody man a year ago.

Fuentes, 36, faces one felony count of conspiracy to deliver fentanyl and another of manslaughter in the new Park County case. Prosecutors specifically allege that Fuentes “did recklessly kill” 25-year-old Jordan Jackson by providing him with counterfeit oxycodone pills. Lab testing showed the purported Percocet contained fentanyl — a much more potent painkiller — and authorities say Jackson fatally overdosed just hours after purchasing the two pills from Fuentes for $80. He was found dead on the morning of Jan. 3, 2023.

Investigators with the Cody Police Department and the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation quickly identified Fuentes as a suspect. Charging documents say an individual had told DCI back in March 2021 that they believed Fuentes was selling counterfeit oxycodone tablets and his number was the only one saved in a private messaging app on Jackson’s phone.

With Fuentes unaware of Jackson’s death, DCI decided to use Jackson’s phone to reach out to Fuentes and ask for more pills.

“Without a second passing Fuentes immediately replied, stating ‘Yep,’” DCI Special Agent Shane Reece recounted in a charging affidavit. Fuentes reportedly directed the undercover agent to pick up two pills from the driver’s seat of a 1996 Chevy parked outside Fuentes’ Greybull home.

Fuentes arrived at the truck a short time later to collect his $80, but was instead arrested by DCI agents.

In a subsequent search of Fuentes’ home, authorities found a misdemeanor amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, while 13 more fentanyl-laced pills were found in his Chevy.

After his arrest, Fuentes reportedly admitted that he’d obtained approximately 40 pills in Denver in late 2022 and had sold a large portion. Charging documents say that included selling pills to Jackson “on multiple occasions.”

In interviews with Fuentes that are quoted in court filings, Agent Reece reportedly described the suspect as the “low man on the totem pole in this” and pressed him for information about where the “bad fentanyl” was coming from.

“There’s a lot of dead people in this state and it’s going to get worse,” Reece said in one January 2023 interview.

When Fuentes said he knew that law enforcement officers “want the bigger fish,” the agent said that wasn’t the issue.

“It’s f—ing bodies dropping,” Reece responded.

“No, I know, believe me,” Fuentes reportedly replied, “and I want the way out.”

At another point, he’s quoted as telling the agent that “I do not want to be in any of this mess from now on.”

Last summer, Fuentes decided to plead guilty to all five charges brought by the Big Horn County Attorney’s Office: two felony counts of delivering a controlled substance, two felony counts of possessing a controlled substance with intent to deliver and a misdemeanor count of possessing a controlled substance.

At a July hearing in Big Horn County District Court, Fuentes admitted he’d delivered the four pills to Reece and Jackson in early January 2023. However, Fuentes said he didn’t know the pills contained fentanyl until DCI told him.

“I was unaware,” he testified, telling the court that he believed the pills he’d delivered were Percocet. That brand name version of oxycodone is also classified as a schedule II controlled substance, but is not as potent as fentanyl.

However, Big Horn County Prosecuting Attorney Marcia Bean objected to Fuentes’ testimony, arguing in a filing that the defendant was trying to minimize his crimes and “avoid the possibility of additional charges out of Park County.” (At Fuentes’ very first court appearance, the prosecutor had warned of a pending manslaughter charge.)

Bean noted that, in his interviews with DCI, Fuentes never disputed the pills were fentanyl — though in the excerpts she highlighted, Fuentes never explicitly admitted to having fentanyl, either.

Presiding District Court Judge Bobbi Overfield ultimately decided she couldn’t accept Fuentes’ guilty pleas to the fentanyl-related charges given his testimony, but the parties resolved the issue mid-August by having Fuentes plead no contest.

His admissions came without any kind of plea deal, leaving it up to Overfield to craft the appropriate sentence. At a December hearing, the judge imposed a three- to five-year prison sentence — with credit for the year he’s already served — followed by three years of supervised probation; if Fuentes violates that probation, he’ll face the possibility of another eight to 10 years behind bars.

Deputy Park County Attorney Jack Hatfield filed the new conspiracy and manslaughter charges on the day of Fuentes’ sentencing in Basin, and he was transferred to the Cody jail last week.

The new counts could theoretically carry up to 60 years of additional prison time. At Hatfield’s recommendation, Park County Circuit Court Judge Joey Darrah set bond at $100,000 in the case.

A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Thursday.