U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon
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News Release
Correction: Medford Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Fatal Fentanyl Overdose of a Teenager - 05/14/24

Please note the below correction. John Rocha was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison, not 70 months. We regret the error. If you have any questions, please contact us at USAOR.PublicAffairs@usdoj.gov.

MEDFORD, Ore.—A Medford man was sentenced to federal prison Monday for distributing fentanyl that caused the overdose death of a local teenager.

John Rocha, 31, was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison and four years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, on September 7, 2021, officers from the Medford Police Department responded to a report of an overdose death of a local 17-year-old high school student. Investigators soon learned that the teenager had taken counterfeit Percocet pills containing fentanyl. Within days, investigators identified Rocha as the victim’s fourth-level drug supplier and, when confronted by law enforcement, he admitted to having recently sold counterfeit pills.

On February 3, 2022, a federal grand jury in Medford returned a five-count indictment charging Rocha and four others with distributing fentanyl, possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

On February 20, 2024, Rocha pleaded guilty to distributing fentanyl.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement Team (MADGE). It was prosecuted by Marco A. Boccato, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

MADGE is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force that identifies, disrupts, and dismantles local, multi-state, and international drug trafficking organizations using an intelligence-driven, multi-agency prosecutor-supported approach. MADGE is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and is composed of members from the Medford Police Department, the Jackson County Sheriff and District Attorney’s Offices, the Jackson County Community Corrections, FBI, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The Oregon-Idaho HIDTA program is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sponsored counterdrug grant program that coordinates with and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement initiatives.

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