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El Cajon man sentenced 14 years for fentanyl sale that caused overdose death

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Posted at 4:00 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 19:00:14-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An El Cajon man was sentenced Friday to 14 years in prison for distributing fentanyl, some of which caused the fatal overdose of a former player for the San Diego Old Aztecs Rugby Football Club.

Christopher Glenn Emison, 33, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a distribution of fentanyl count for selling more than 40 grams of the drug, some of which led to the death of 45-year-old Derrick Hotchkiss in his San Diego home on April 11, 2019.

A co-defendant, 34-year-old San Diego resident Jeffrey Alden Blair, pleaded guilty in February and is due to be sentenced next month.

Prosecutors say Hotchkiss had text messages on his phone indicating Emison sold him fentanyl the night before his death.

Shortly after Hotchkiss' death, investigators searched Emison's home and vehicle and seized fentanyl, heroin residue, firearms, ammunition and other items indicating drug sales.

Prosecutors say Emison admitted to knowing the fentanyl was dangerous and apparently sent text messages to Hotchkiss to warn him of the drug's strength but never received a response.

"Selling drugs is not a victimless crime. Selling drugs is a root cause of crime, cartel violence, the destruction of families and in this case, death," said DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery.

U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said, "This case and the fact that deadly fentanyl continues to ravage our community, taking more than 300 lives this year alone in San Diego County, demonstrates the urgent need to hold these dealers of death accountable for their actions."

A statement from the Old Aztecs Rugby Football Club said, "We continue to grieve our beloved Deez ... Saturdays won't be the same; he was a large man with a heart to match."