Ontario man charged with drug crimes, including possession of fentanyl

VALE ­­– An Ontario man has been indicted on state drug charges for possessing methamphetamine and fentanyl just three years after being released from federal prison on an earlier drug conviction.

The Malheur County grand jury on Thursday, June 16, charged Juan M. Silva Jr., 27, of Ontario, with unlawful delivery of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school, unlawful manufacture or delivery of fentanyl, unlawful possession of fentanyl and unlawful possession of methamphetamine. He also was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, accused of having two rifles and a pistol.

The indictment said the crimes occurred on June 9 in a case investigated by the Ontario Police Department.

Silva is scheduled to appear in Malheur County Circuit Court on July 5 to enter a plea.

He was 20 when federal authorities indicted him in Boise on 2015 on methamphetamine charges related to crimes in Nampa and Meridian. He pleaded guilty to one federal charge the following year and was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison.

He also had to forfeit $30,000 in cash.

While in prison, according to federal records, Silva acted as his own attorney to sue Union Pacific Railroad in 2017. In his complaint, he said he was walking over a railroad trestle over the Payette River when he was struck by a train. He said in his lawsuit the railroad was negligent because the train conductor didn’t stop the train in time to avoid hitting him.

In his federal court filing, he described growing up in Ontario. He said seven months before his train accident, his 13-year-old brother fell off a train trestle and died.

He described his own treatment in three hospitals after his accident.

“Due to being out of work, under stress, harboring suicidal thoughts, suffering from tremendous pain and haunted by memories of the accident,” he wrote in a court filing, “I made the terrible decision to sell methamphetamine.”

A federal judge dismissed the case.

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