Man sentenced for dealing fentanyl that caused local rugby player’s death


SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A San Diego man was sentenced Monday to nearly 19 years in prison for distributing fentanyl that caused the fatal overdose of a former player for the San Diego Old Aztecs Rugby Football Club.

Andrew Samuel Daniel Gossai, 33, is the last of three defendants to plead guilty and be sentenced in connection with the April 11, 2019, death of 45-year-old Derrick Hotchkiss, who overdosed at his San Diego home.

Upon his death, investigators found text messages on Hotchkiss’ phone indicating Gossai’s co-defendant, Christopher Glenn Emison, sold him fentanyl the night before, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 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.

Emison, 33, of El Cajon, was sentenced last year to 14 years in prison, while another co-defendant, Jeffrey Alden Blair, 34, of San Diego, was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Gossai sold the fentanyl to Blair, who made the purchase for both Emison and himself. Emison then sold the fatal dose to Hotchkiss, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Gossai, who has prior drug sales convictions, was aware of the drug’s dangers, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which said that after his arrest, he admitted being “scared” of the drug, but continued selling anyway.

His plea to a federal distribution of fentanyl count came with admissions to selling the drugs that killed Hotchkiss, as well as selling more than 400 grams of fentanyl.

“Fentanyl continues to plague our community, and tragic deaths such as that of Derrick Hotchkiss are increasing exponentially,” Acting U.S. Attorney Randy S. Grossman said. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement and community outreach partners to reverse this terrible trend.”

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most Popular Stories

Latest News

More News