On September 19th, 2023

More Than 485,000 Fentanyl Pills Seized in Fresno County

“Removing 150 pounds of illegal narcotics from our streets is a huge contribution to public safety and preventing the loss of life.  We thank the law enforcement officers involved in this investigation and working to keep Californians safe.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona

FRESNO — On September 15, 2023, California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) announced a joint operation in Fresno County resulting in the felony arrest of a suspect and the seizure of more than 150 pounds of narcotics, including 485,000 fentanyl pills disguised as oxycodone and 45 pounds of cocaine.

The arrest is the result of a traffic stop on September 8, 2023, by a CHP officer and subsequent investigation by the California Department of Justice (DOJ). The suspect was booked into the Fresno County Jail on charges of possession of cocaine and fentanyl for sale, and the transportation of cocaine and fentanyl across noncontiguous counties. The case will be prosecuted by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office.

“I am grateful for the work of our partners at the California Highway Patrol for their collaboration to get these illicit and dangerous drugs off our streets,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Whether through the seizure of illicit fentanyl through our ongoing enforcement efforts or by bringing California billions of dollars through our lawsuits and investigative efforts to hold the opioid industry accountable, the California Department of Justice is all-in when it comes to protecting California families from the dangers of fentanyl. I want to thank our teams and our law enforcement partners across the state for their work in taking fentanyl off our streets and out of California communities. There are countless lives being saved as a result of their important and difficult work.”

“Working with our law enforcement partners throughout the state is critical to the success in our mission of removing illegal narcotics from our streets,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee. “Meaningful collaboration is the key to achieving our common goal of creating safer, drug-free communities for all of California."

The High Impact Investigation Team (HIIT) is a California DOJ Bureau of Investigation-led multiagency task force, federally funded through the national High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program. It is comprised of members from the California Department of Justice, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation-Special Services Unit, Fresno County Sheriff's Office, Madera County Sheriff’s Office, Kings County Sheriff’s Office, Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Fresno Police Department, Fresno County District Attorney's Office, California Highway Patrol, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. As part of DOJ’s task force program, the participating agencies of HIIT work in collaboration to combat drug trafficking organizations, violent career criminals and gangs. These unique and essential teams use the latest technology and advanced investigative techniques and work alongside local, state, and federal law enforcement to enhance investigations into violent criminals and organized crime throughout the state.


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