Three charged in connection with deadly fentanyl-laced overdose

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — A federal grand jury in Austin recently returned an indictment charging a local man and two women with five counts related to fentanyl distribution resulting in death and serious bodily injury.

Court documents allege that David Lee Jr., 45, and Virginia Zepeda, 43, of Austin, along with Jackie Lynne Chester, 36, of Taylor, possessed and sold counterfeit oxycodone and other fake prescription pills containing traceable amounts of fentanyl, leading to the death of at least one person.

Lee is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, one count of distribution of fentanyl causing death and serious bodily injury, and three counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of fentanyl.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the conspiracy charge, 20 years to life imprisonment on the distribution causing death charge and 40 years imprisonment on each of the three possession charges. Lee pleaded not guilty to all charges on Jan. 11, 2023.

Zepeda and Chester are each charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl. If convicted, they each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The defendants have each made their initial court appearances.

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux of the Drug Enforcement Administration Houston Division made the announcement.

The DEA, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Marshall is prosecuting the case.