Yuba County Inmate Sentenced to Twelve Years, Four Months in Fentanyl Overdose Case
A Yuba County man has been convicted in connection with the fentanyl overdoses of three fellow inmates, one of whom later died.
According to a press release by the Yuba County District Attorney’s Office, Aaron Charles Henning, 45, was convicted and sentenced to an aggregate term of twelve years and four months in state prison for multiple charges, including involuntary manslaughter, following the fentanyl poisoning and in-custody death of Matthew Perez, as well as the poisoning of two other inmates.
The incidents occurred in late October and November of 2022, leading to an investigation by Yuba County Sheriff’s Detectives.
Henning’s arrest took place on October 26, 2022, by agents from the Yuba-Sutter Narcotic and Gang Enforcement Team (NET-5) for possessing fentanyl with the intent to sell. During the arrest, law enforcement officials seized over an ounce of fentanyl from Henning and subsequently booked him into the Yuba County jail. Henning managed to conceal and smuggle an additional half ounce of the deadly synthetic opioid into the jail.
On November 2, 2022, inmate Matthew Perez reportedly became unresponsive and ultimately succumbed to fentanyl poisoning, despite life-saving measures by jail staff. The following day, two additional inmates also fell unconscious due to fentanyl poisoning, but medical staff successfully revived them. The subsequent autopsy confirmed Perez’s cause of death as fentanyl poisoning, prompting increased scrutiny as to how the drug was making into and being distributed in the jail.
Yuba County Sheriff’s Detectives reviewed surveillance footage and conducting numerous interviews to identify the individual responsible for smuggling and distributing the fentanyl. Henning was soon identified as the primary suspect and later pleaded no-contest.
As part of his plea agreement, Henning reportedly confessed to smuggling and distributing the fentanyl within the jail, providing it to the three men who were subsequently poisoned, including Matthew Perez. The court scheduled his sentencing for May 1, 2023, where Henning faced an agreed-upon sentence of twelve years and four months in state prison.