WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A man who was found to be in possession of 2,000 pills containing fentanyl and was later discovered to have impregnated his underage girlfriend has been sentenced to more time behind bars.
Joshua Christopher Pantoja, 29, of Wichita Falls, who is currently serving a 10-year federal prison sentence, pleaded guilty on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, to manufacturing and delivering a controlled substance over 200 grams and under 400 grams, as well as sexual assault.
Pantoja, who elected to have the jury set his punishment, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the drug charge and 20 years in prison for the sexual assault charge in the 78th District Court, with Judge Meredith Kennedy presiding.
Dobie Kosub, Wichita County’s First Assistant District Attorney, said Pantoja’s 40-year sentence for manufacturing and delivering a controlled substance will run concurrently with his 10-year federal sentence for the same crime. However, his 20-year sentence for sexual assault will run consecutively to the federal sentence.
“He’s going to be in the penitentiary for upwards of 20 years before he can ever apply or be eligible for parole,” Kosub said.
Kosub said after Pantoja received his federal sentence for the same incident in June 2022, the District Attorney’s office maintained interest in Pantoja’s activities in Wichita County and took him to trial, which began after a jury was seated on Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
“After yesterday’s close of business, we were made aware that he was interested in changing his plea,” Kosub said.
Pantoja was first arrested in June 2022 after officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department obtained a search warrant for a house in the 1600 block of Harrison Street. At that time, Special Operations officers had the house under surveillance when they saw Pantoja leaving with a black satchel.
Officers then stopped him and searched the satchel, and said it contained a large number of blue pills labeled M30, which are commonly found to contain fentanyl. SWAT team officers entered the house and said more pills were found inside the house, as well as scales.
According to authorities, 2,000 pills were discovered either in Pantoja’s possession or inside of the house. The total weight of the pills containing fentanyl was listed as 249 grams.
There were reportedly three females and a 3-month-old baby found inside the home. They said a 16-year-old girl who had the baby later admitted Pantoja was the father of the baby, and Pantoja was then charged with sexual assault.
This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as more information becomes available.