LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A man from Las Vegas who gave a 17-year-old girl fatal fentanyl pills was sentenced to prison Wednesday.
In one of the first cases in southern Nevada where a dealer was charged with murder for supplying the drugs that caused a deadly fentanyl overdose, Joshua Roberts and prosecutors agreed to a four-to-ten-year prison sentence. That sentence includes a two-and-a-half-year sentence on a related drug charge to run at the same time.
Roberts is accused of giving a high school student, Mia Gugino – a soccer standout at Centennial High School – MDMA pills that were laced with fentanyl in 2021.
The courtroom was packed with Gugino’s family and friends. Some of those mourning her death were also forced to wait in the hallway outside the courtroom.
Gugino’s grandmother and father, visibly and audibly distraught, spoke to Clark County District Court Judge Michelle Leavitt and asked her to sentence Roberts to the maximum amount of time in prison.
Roberts’s defense attorney asked Leavitt to charge her client with probation, arguing that Roberts had taken responsibility for his role in Gugino’s death. Prosecutors disagreed.
Gugino’s father, Lee Gugino, said he is moving his family out of Las Vegas because he does not want to be in the same city as a murderer who “pushes poison on people.”
“He knew what he was doing,” Lee Gugino said of Roberts. “There’s certain people like my daughter in this world who want to bring kindness and happiness, who want to be a part of the community. And then there’s certain people who want to have control over people. It comes from money, and trying to sell drugs.”
The number of fentanyl deaths in Clark County has soared over the last five years when fentanyl could be blamed for one in every five opioid deaths. Now that number is three out of every four.