NBC 7 San Diego reports that the office of U.S. Attorney for the Southern California Adam L. Braverman announced charges against four individuals for allegedly smuggling thousands of counterfeit fentanyl pills from Mexico into the U.S. Three of the individuals charged – Felix Inzunza-Dominguez, Jr., Norma Macias-Dominguez, and Tanairi Ponce – all reside in Tijuana, Mexico, and the fourth individual – Dianna Dominguez – lives in San Diego, California. The four face a minimum of ten years in prison if convicted on the charge of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
According to court documents, an undercover federal agent (UA) had been negotiating with a known drug trafficker (DT) based in Tijuana to purchase counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl. Previously, defendants Norma Macias-Dominguez and Felix Inzunza-Dominguez, Jr. had each smuggled 1,000 pills into the U.S. to the UA in exchange for a total of $16,000. In December 2018, DT agreed to sell the UA 4,000 of the fentanyl pills for $24,000.
On January 7, 2019, agents observed Dianna Dominguez, Felix Inzunza-Dominguez, Jr., and Norma Macias-Dominguez cross into the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in one vehicle. Norma Macias-Dominguez exited the vehicle while Felix Inzunza-Dominguez, Jr. continued on in the vehicle to a nearby Frye’s parking lot to deliver the pills to the UA. Inside the bag were two condoms containing approximately 4,000 fentanyl pills.
Both Felix Inzunza-Dominguez, Jr. and Dianna Dominguez waived their Miranda rights and spoke with agents at the time of their arrests. The former admitted to receiving payment for delivering the pills while the latter admitted to being aware that she was involved in the delivery of something illegal by providing a ride to the two other defendants. The UA contacted DT to explain that the handoff did not happen. At that time, DT sent Tanairi Ponce across the border with 2,000 additional fentanyl pills. Ponce allegedly hid the pills she smuggled across the border in her bra.
All four defendants entered not guilty pleas in court. This investigation involved the combined efforts of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, and the San Diego Sheriff’s Office.