Click here to read about other counterfeit drug incidents in Missouri

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, two St. Charles men were charged in federal court with a drug offense after they were caught with two kilograms of fentanyl powder. On top of the kilogram of fentanyl powder found in both Ruben Lopez and Jonathen Andrew Aguilar’s apartments, law enforcement also seized two pill encapsulating machines. Both machines were found in Lopez’s on Avignon Drive.

A press release from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) stated that federal investigators intercepted a suspicious package before it was delivered to Lopez’s. Inside the parcel was a one-kilogram brick of fentanyl concealed inside some clothing. Investigators secured the fentanyl and sent a fake replacement package in its place. During the controlled delivery, Lopez took the package. Shortly after that, investigators executed a search warrant on the premises and found the two encapsulating machines along with a handgun. A search of the second apartment on Molina Way turned up the additional kilogram of fentanyl powder.

The DOJ charged Lopez and Aguilar with possession with the intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge William J. Callahan of the St. Louis Division said, “Through our strategic, investigative operations we removed more than 1.5 million potentially lethal doses of poison from hitting the streets of St. Charles County.” Assistant Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s St. Louis Field Office J.R. Ball stated, “Criminals who believe they can use the U.S. Mail to transport dangerous illegal narcotics into our communities are mistaken. The United States Postal Inspection Service is committed to identifying these individuals and bringing them to justice. Today’s arrests are examples of that commitment.”

This case took the collaborative efforts of the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force, St. Peters Police Department, St. Charles County Police Department, the DEA, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.