On April 10, law enforcement officers arrested a California couple for allegedly attempting to transport a large amount of powdered fentanyl through San Diego County. They were taken into custody on Otay Mesa Freeway.
According to authorities, one of the defendants, a 24-year-old woman, was traveling west on Route 905 in a 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor when a deputy pulled her over for speeding. During the traffic stop, a K-9 officer signaled that there may be drugs in the SUV. As a result, deputies searched the vehicle and allegedly found more than 20 kilograms of powdered fentanyl hidden “deeply” inside the vehicle. The estimated street value of the stash was estimated to be over $1.5 million.
The female defendant and her male passenger, age 36, were arrested on suspicion of illegally possessing and transporting a controlled substance. They were taken to the San Diego County Jail for processing and were each held on $750,000 bail. Authorities say that large fentanyl busts are becoming more common in San Diego. The drug is frequently added to illegally produced opioid pills, making them more potent and hazardous.
Individuals convicted of drug possession and drug trafficking crimes could be sentenced to decades in prison and assessed heavy fines. However, every defendant is innocent until proven guilty and has the right to mount a defense against the accusations. A criminal defense attorney may work to protect a defendant’s rights, investigate the case and challenge the prosecution’s evidence, which might cause the charges to be dismissed. In cases where the evidence is strong, legal counsel may recommend negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors. This strategy might help mitigate the charges and lead to a reduced sentence.
Source: Imperial Beach, “$1.5M Fentanyl Bust When Couple Stopped For Speeding: Deputies,” April 11, 2019