A court on Friday rejected a bid for pretrial release for a man facing federal charges that he helped distribute narcotics to members of the U.S. Marine Corps, one of whom suffered a fatal drug overdose in May.
Prosecutors allege that Jordan Nicholas McCormick, 26, of Palmdale, supplied large quantities of various drugs – including LSD, ecstasy, cocaine and fentanyl-laced oxycodone – to four co-conspirators.
Those co-conspirators include two Camp Pendleton Marines. Last month, authorities arrested Lance Cpls. Anthony Ruben Whisenant, 20, and Ryan Douglas White, 22 on a federal grand jury indictment.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles also charged McCormick with possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Rozella A. Oliver called McCormick a danger to the community. She ordered that he remain in federal custody pending trial in December.
The original indictment charged one of the Marines and three civilians with conspiring to distribute narcotics among both members of the Corps and the general public.
Whisenant allegedly distributed drugs to fellow Marines, including the one who died. White is charged with being an accessory after the fact for allegedly attempting to hinder Whisenant’s apprehension.
The 14-count updated indictment also charges two others. Gustavo Jaciel Solis, 24, of Sylmar, allegedly sold McCormick’s drugs to civilians and military personnel. Jessica Sarah Perez, 23, of Pacoima, allegedly distributed narcotics, including fentanyl and cocaine, to civilians.
On Aug. 11, a grand jury indicted Solis and Perez on fentanyl and cocaine distribution charges. They pleaded not guilty.
The updated indictment adds McCormick, Whisenant and White as defendants, in addition to new charges.
Prosecutors contend the conspiracy lasted from last November through last month. It involved multiple sales of fentanyl-laced oxycodone to an undercover buyer, often for amounts exceeding $1,000 per buy.
On May 22, Solis sold 10 pills of oxycodone laced with fentanyl to an unnamed active-duty Marine. That individual died of a drug overdose in the early morning hours of May 23, the indictment alleges.
In addition to the conspiracy charge, McCormick, Solis, Whisenant and Perez face substantive charges of distribution of narcotics.
The indictment also charges McCormick and Solis, like Whisenant, with possessing firearms in furtherance of drug crimes.
– City News Service
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