Maya Kol, 41, could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison before he is sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey Miller.
His plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's office says the minimum sentence is 10 years. The 47-year-old victim is only known under the initials of J.E. and the death was one of three that occurred in Pacific Beach on Labor Day weekend in 2018, according to court records.
The man who sold Kol the fentanyl powder – which was disguised as cocaine – himself died, along with another person. Kol is only charged with causing the death of the man with whom he sold the drug.
Kol admitted in his plea agreement that after he purchased a drug he believed was cocaine, he sampled it, and he noticed it tasted different. He became woozy and nearly lost his balance, according to a list of facts Kol initialed from the U.S. Attorney's office and are court records.
Nevertheless, Kol sold a one-half gram of the drug – which was in actuality fentanyl powder – and told J.E. and two others the drug was cocaine. One of J.E.'s friends called Kol, saying he found J.E. unresponsive. The caller to Kol was himself hospitalized, but he recovered.
Kol went back to his Pacific Beach apartment and flushed his remaining fentanyl powder in the toilet. J.E. died from a mixture of fentanyl, alcohol, and Alprazolam, a tranquilizer, intoxication, according to court records. No information was in court records about the third death, as Kol is only charged with J.E.'s death.
Kol pleaded guilty to distribution of fentanyl involving the death of J.E.
"Another life is gone because of fentanyl and the greed of traffickers," said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer in a press release. "This dealer knew he was selling a dangerous drug and did it anyway."
"As the opioid epidemic rages across the nation, we will do everything we can to save lives, and that includes pursuing charges against dealers of the poison that is killing people every single day in the country," said Brewer.
"Not only did Mr. Kol's greed and selfishness cost a life, but he tried to cover up his actions and destroy the weapon that killed J.E. – in this case, fentanyl," said Karen Flowers, a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
"A message to the dealers of death: DEA will find out who you are and we will bring you to justice. You cannot cover up your crimes and you will pay for taking the life of another human being," said Flowers.
A search of Kol's residence found $5,143 in cash, scales, baggies, one gram of cocaine, and other information about drug sales. Two other people who sampled the drug were hospitalized and recovered.
Kol has been detained without bail in the Metropolitan Correctional Center.