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Grand Junction man convicted of conspiring to distribute fentanyl resulting in death

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 9:39 AM MDT
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DENVER, Colo. (KJCT) - A Grand Junction man has been convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl and Counterfeit Substances, Distribution of Fentanyl Resulting in Death, Distribution of Fentanyl, and Distribution of a Counterfeit Substance after a 11-day jury trial in Denver, Colorado.

Bruce Holder, age 55, worked with multiple co-conspirators, including his wife, children, and other members of his family, to distribute pills which appeared to be 30mg Oxycodone pills but in fact were counterfeit and spiked with fentanyl. Between 2017 and 2018, Holder imported tens of thousands of these pills from Mexico into Western Colorado where he and his co-conspirators distributed them for substantial profit.

In December 2017, a young man in Carbondale died after using one of the pills that had fentanyl in the counterfeit pills distributed by Holder. Despite knowing about the young man’s death, Holder and his co-conspirators continued distributing the counterfeit pills. Evidence at trial also showed that, following his arrest, Holder discussed with co-conspirators plans to destroy evidence and the possible murder of a cooperating witness.

“Most people know that fentanyl is incredibly dangerous. Many people don’t know that it can be disguised to look like other, much less powerful opioids,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Matt Kirsch. “Bruce Holder profited from that ignorance, while one of his customers paid for it with his life. Holder now faces an appropriately long prison sentence for his callous drug distribution.”

United States District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello presided over the trial and will impose sentence at a later date.

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