Bags of fentanyl pills. Courtesy Drug Enforcement Administration

An El Cajon man who pleaded guilty to selling fentanyl-laced pills that caused another man’s death was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison.

Olatunde James Temitope Akintonde, 23, pleaded guilty in July to a federal distribution of fentanyl count in connection with the 2019 death of a 19-year-old Santee man identified only as S.J.G. in court documents.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Akintonde admitted selling the victim two counterfeit oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl.

In a defense sentencing memorandum, Akintonde’s attorney, Daniel Casillas, wrote that his client did not know the pills were laced with fentanyl, only that they were “strong.”

Prosecutors allege Akintonde’s awareness of the pills’ strength led him to advise the victim to only take one.

S.J.G died at his home either the evening of Feb. 28, 2019 or the early morning hours of March 1, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Following the victim’s death, prosecutors say Akintonde continued selling the same pills for about four months, though in a written statement submitted through his attorney, Akintonde stated he didn’t know the pills had caused the death until his arrest.

Akintonde described S.J.G.’s death as “the most painful feeling I have ever had to endure” and called the victim “a really good friend and I know his family doesn’t appreciate me saying that, but it’s the honest truth.”

City News Service contributed to this article.

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