Fmr. Marine admits involvement in fellow Marine’s fentanyl death

Fmr. Marine admits involvement in fellow Marine’s fentanyl death
Cpl. Mark Mambulao (Source: WITN)

RALEIGH, NC (WITN) - A former Camp Lejeune Marine has admitted to distributing a drug cocktail that lead to the death of another Marine.

Marcos Villegas, 24, of St. Charles, Illinois, pleaded guilty today to distributing a quantity of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of oxycodone and fentanyl, and aiding and abetting.

Corporal Mark Mambulao and Villegas were at a party in Richlands on April 14, 2017, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, when Villegas gave Mambulao pills that he and Sgt. Anthony Tognietti had purchased over the dark web. The pills had been advertised as oxycodone laced with fentanyl, an opiate that can be lethal even in small doses.

Early the next morning, Villegas found Mambulao unresponsive, and he died shortly after arriving at Onslow Memorial Hospital, the feds say.

An autopsy showed the 20-year-old died from a fentanyl overdose and low alcohol content.

Prosecutors say NCIS agents found fentanyl pills in Villegas's barracks just a few weeks after Mambulao's death. The pills were linked to a Texas man who pled guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.

Sgt. Tognietti was also charged with distributing a quantity of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of oxycodone and fentanyl, and aiding and abetting. He pleaded guilty in April, and both he and Villegas face up to 20 years in prison during sentencing.

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