Brian Parrish
Brian Parrish. Courtesy Cal Fire

Two Poway residents were sentenced to federal prison terms Friday for supplying the fentanyl that led to a local firefighter’s fatal overdose.

Justin Gale Mata, 41, and Everett Justin Curtis, 48, pleaded guilty to providing the drugs that killed Brian M. Parrish, a firefighter with Cal Fire in San Diego County. Mata received a 15 year sentence, while Curtis was sentenced to 12 years and seven months.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, text messages showed Curtis and Parrish discussed the drug purchase on Jan. 30, 2021, then drove together to a casino to meet Mata, who sold Parrish the fentanyl.

Parrish died the following morning at the age of 43.

An online memorial for Parrish from Cal Fire San Diego County Firefighters Local #2881 states Parrish began his fire service career in 2014 with the United States Forest Service.

The following year, he became a reserve firefighter with San Diego County Fire and became a Cal Fire firefighter two years later. He worked at Fire Station 20 until his death and was described as “an integral part of the fire station and crew.”

Parrish also left behind his parents, sisters, three children, a grandchild and his fiance.

U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said, “Brian Parrish dedicated himself as a firefighter to combating California’s deadly wildfires, and his loss is tragic for his family and the entire community.”

City News Service contributed to this article.


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Ellen Bullock