LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Tanoo Senethavilay, 37, of Las Vegas, Nevada was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Miranda Du to four years and nine months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl — a powerful synthetic opioid — in Las Vegas, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich of the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI.
Senethavilay pleaded guilty on December 18, 2019, to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. Following today’s hearing, Senethavilay was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
According to court documents, from August 2017 to September 2017, Senethavilay conspired to and did distribute 208 grams (approximately a half-pound) of fentanyl in exchange for cash. He has prior convictions for robbery, felon in possession of a firearm, attempted grand larceny, unlawful carry of a concealed weapon, and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine, and is commonly added to heroin to increase its potency. Street names include “China Girl,” “King Ivory,” and “Murder 8.” Fentanyl poses a high risk of death not only to users, but also to law enforcement since the drug may be ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. A few milligrams, which is equivalent to a few grains of table salt, may be deadly. Users may believe that they are purchasing heroin without knowing that they are actually purchasing fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths.
The charges resulted from a joint investigation by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Nevada Gaming Control Board.