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California

10,000 fentanyl pills smuggled in covert operation, authorities say

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A bag of fentanyl pills was sold to undercover agents during an operation and later seized.
(Courtesy of U.S. Attorney’s Office)

Four people were arrested Monday on suspicion of working for a fentanyl-smuggling ring that supplied undercover agents with thousands of counterfeit oxycodone pills.

The operation acquired more than 10,000 fentanyl pills that were smuggled from Mexico through San Diego ports of entry, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in San Diego federal court.

Undercover agents put in orders for the pills, known as “pressed blues,” with a known Tijuana drug trafficker, according to the complaint. He and his associates would then smuggle the pills into the U.S., the complaint says.

The latest purchase happened last month, when agents negotiated the sale of about 4,000 pills for $24,000.

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Agents said they observed as three of the suspects drove into the U.S. through the San Ysidro Port of Entry, then parked at a Walmart shopping center. The driver, Dianna Dominguez, stayed with the car while her father, Felix Inzunza-Dominguez Jr., walked to a nearby Fry’s Electronics parking lot to deliver the pills to the agent. Another passenger, Norma Macias-Dominguez, walked away after the car was parked.

The bag of pills that Inzunza-Dominguez handed the agent also contained two condoms, probably used to smuggle the drugs, according to the complaint. All three were arrested Monday.

Authorities said it wasn’t the trio’s first delivery to the agents.

Macias-Dominguez had previously smuggled fentanyl pills from Mexico and delivered 1,000 for $8,000, authorities said. Inzunza-Dominguez had also smuggled and delivered a similar amount, authorities said.

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After the three were arrested, the agents contacted the drug trafficker in Tijuana and said their pills had not arrived as promised. He agreed to have an additional 2,000 pills smuggled and delivered.

That day, Tanairi Ponce smuggled the pills in her bra and delivered them to the agent, according to the complaint. She was arrested. Agents found in her possession a business card with the name of the undercover agent and his phone number, the complaint states.

All four are charged with possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute.

Davis writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.


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