Fentanyl Poisoning Arrest


Reporting Deputy: Sgt. Sean Liebrand

File # MA230970008


On April 7, 2023, at 8:11 a.m., deputies from the Lake Mathews Sheriff’s Station were dispatched to the 22200 block of Piedras Road in Lake Mathews regarding an unresponsive male adult, later identified as 29-year-old Gorge Sandoval. Deputies performed lifesaving measures but were unsuccessful, and Gorge was pronounced deceased. The Sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau determined Gorge died as a result of fentanyl poisoning, and the case was assumed by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Overdose Death Investigations and Narcotics Unit (ODIN). Over the next several months, investigators worked to identify the suspect responsible for selling the fentanyl that killed Gorge. As a result of their efforts, the suspect was identified as John Sandoval, a 28-year-old resident of Jurupa Valley.

On June 2, 2023, personnel from the Riverside Police Department served an unrelated narcotics search warrant at John’s residence in the 8400 block of Saddle Creek Drive in Jurupa Valley and seized two kilos of suspected fentanyl. John was arrested and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center for possession of a controlled substance for sale. On June 20, 2023, John was convicted and released on probation.

John Sandoval

On August 31, 2023, personnel from ODIN took John Sandoval into custody at the Jurupa Valley Sheriff’s station. He was later booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center for the murder of Gorge Sandoval. This investigation is ongoing, and anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Investigator Garcia-Flores at 951-955-1700.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind citizens of the dangers of illicit narcotics, many of which may contain fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger than morphine and can cause death or serious bodily harm.

For media inquiries regarding this incident please contact the Media Information Bureau.

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