Two Washington men were indicted by a grand jury after they allegedly put 9,000 fentanyl pills in potato chip containers and smuggled them into Whatcom County.
Earlier this month, Special agents with Homeland Security Investigations Pacific Northwest received information that caused them to believe that a criminal organization from Mexico was smuggling fentanyl into Washington state.
The authorities believed that Juan E. Hernandez-Hernandez and Alejandro Macias-Velazquez, residents of Washington, were involved in the smuggling.
They decided to use an informant to try to make a pill purchase from the men that was to take place at a hotel in Bellingham. The informant reportedly made a deal with the Hernandez-Hernandez to buy 91,000 fentanyl pills for $185,000.
It was reported that Hernandez-Hernandez sat in a vehicle in the hotel parking lot with the informant when Macias-Velasquez went to their residence and picked up a duffel bag to bring to the spot for the alleged sale.
Macias-Velasquez allegedly put the duffel bag into the informant’s trunk while the authorities watched from nearby.
The agents seized the bag and alleged it had several potato chip containers with fentanyl pills inside. It was asserted that there was a total of 10 kilos of the substance in the bag.
When he talked to the authorities, Macias-Velazquez reportedly said Hernandez-Hernandez offered to pay him if he picked up the bag and brought it to the scene. He said he was not aware that the bag had fentanyl pills inside.
According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Hernandez-Hernandez and Macias-Velazquez were indicted by a grand jury in Seattle. They are both facing one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute related to the distribution and sale of fentanyl pills. They are both incarcerated at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac.
The Whatcom County Sheriff said that deaths related to fentanyl overdoses are a growing problem in Washington.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a drug offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.