California First Fentanyl Sales Murder Conviction Leads To 15-Year Prison Term

In the first instance of its kind in California, a man was given a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

According to the Placer County District Attorney’s Office, Nathaniel Cabacungan was the first individual in California to be found guilty of m*rder for the fentanyl-related death of a 15-year-old Roseville resident.

In July, the 21-year-old was found guilty of second-degree m*rder as well as other offenses related to the passing of Jewels Wolf in June 2022.

Following Tuesday’s sentencing for Cabacungan, Wolf’s parents addressed.

“On behalf of my daughter Jewels, my family and I would like to thank the Placer County District Attorney’s Office and the special detective assigned to my daughter’s case,” said Jewel’s mother, Regina Chavez.

“They worked endlessly and diligently to bring justice for Jewels by obtaining the first murder conviction in California history for fentanyl poisoning. Though this victory does not bring my precious daughter back, I am honored to know that Jewels’ story is going to help save many lives going forward.”

“The game has changed for fentanyl dealers and distributors. The precedent has been set — individuals can and will be charged for murder for selling deadly products containing fentanyl in Placer County and my beautiful Jewels helped set that precedent.” 

Fentanyl-Related Murder Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison

Her father, Jake Wolf, also spoke after the sentencing.

“We find a semblance of justice in today’s sentencing, yet nothing will ever fill the void left by our beloved daughter Jewels,” Jake Wolf said. “The consequences of fentanyl and the pain it inflicts on families like ours are heart-wrenchingly real and lasting.”

“Our continuous fight against the opioid epidemic honors Jewel’s memory, advocating for a future where no parent must endure such unimaginable loss. We are profoundly thankful for the diligent work of the of the Placer County District Attorney, Morgan Gire, his office, and their investigators who brought this individual to justice.” 

According to a criminal complaint against Cabacungan, he had fentanyl that was compressed into tablets that resembled Percocets, and he transferred them. Additionally, it claims that he met with the girl to engage in obscene behavior, gave her a controlled substance, and ultimately ki!!ed her.

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To tackle the fentanyl issue, Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire said they are continuing outreach and education efforts as well as prosecuting dealers.

“Our message is simple: do not sell this poison in Placer County. This historic sentence affirms our county’s commitment to holding fentanyl dealers accountable,” Gire said.

“Through aggressive prosecution, county-wide investigations, support from our local officials, and our 1 Pill Can Kill Placer campaign, we will save lives through education, enforcement and empowering our community members. We will continue to stand with the Wolf family to honor her memory by educating our kids of the dangers of fentanyl.” 

After 15 years, Cabacungan might be eligible for parole. However, the judge is not required to give it.

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