Courts & Law

14 years in OC fentanyl death

A SENTENCE of 14 years in federal prison has been handed down in the case of a man convicted of selling a drug that killed a Huntington Beach woman (Shutterstock).

SANTA ANA (AP) – A Virginia man who admitted selling the fentanyl that caused the fatal overdose of a 22-year-old woman in Orange County has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.

Matthew Benjamin Hurley told the court during a hearing Monday that he holds himself  “100 percent accountable” for the 2020 death of Rose Avelar in Huntington Beach, it was reported.

Hurley, who referenced his own battle with addiction, accepted a plea deal last year, admitting to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl resulting in a death.

“I never meant for someone to get hurt,” Hurley told U.S. District Judge James V. Selna. “The person I am under substances is not who I want to be. I’m tired of the misery and pain my addiction has caused.”

Avelar’s relatives, who traveled from Massachusetts for the sentencing, described her as a “beautiful, driven young woman” who was excited about attending college in California.

“You robbed me of her,” Austin Avelar, Rose’s brother, told Hurley. “She died alone, far away from me and my family, and the pain of her death is so deep I feel it will never end.”

Hurley was one of more than a half-dozen alleged drug dealers who were federally charged in April 2022 after prosecutors said they sold fentanyl-laced narcotics that resulted in 10 deaths in Orange County.

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