SAN DIEGO – A San Diego man was sentenced Friday in federal court for distributing fentanyl that resulted in the overdose death of a 24-year-old Poway man, authorities said.

Officials say in December 2016, Arnold Ray Walters III gave a pressed blue pill to a person with the understanding that it would be provided to the 24-year-old North County resident. In Walters’ plea agreement, the man admitted that he “was aware of the potentially lethal impact of the fentanyl.”

Walters, who officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office say has a history of drug-sale convictions, was also convicted of unlawfully possessing firearms after investigators found several firearms in his possession, including an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle.

“This is a sentence that reflects the tragic and senseless loss of a young life,” U.S. Attorney Randy
Grossman said. “Dealers take note, you will pay a high price for your greedy, reckless actions which are
destroying lives, families and communities. Our prosecutors and law enforcement officials are working
hard to prevent more deaths and seek justice for victims.”

Walters faced a mandatory minimum of 20 years for the felony firearm possession and the distribution resulting in a death charge.

“This significant sentence should send a strong message that HSI takes very seriously its mission of
ensuring public safety,” said HSI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Chad Plantz. “HSI will continue to
work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to relentlessly investigate and bring to
justice those who introduce dangerous narcotics into our communities.”