Counterfeit oxycodone tablet containing fentanyl. Source: DEA

Police arrested and charged two men for possession of thousands of fentanyl pills during a traffic stop on January 9, 2019 in California, according to NBC 7 San Diego. Jesus Rodriguez and Ramon Fabela, who are already convicted drug traffickers, were in the vehicle when it was pulled over. In the cab of the truck, which belonged to Rodriguez, officers found a package to be shipped to an address in Alaska. Inside the box, they found 12,000 pills that tested positive for fentanyl, and one kilogram each of cocaine and heroin.

A court document stated that the drugs were concealed inside 12 bundles wrapped with electrical tape. They had been vacuum sealed with coffee grounds, a style of packaging typically used for narcotics shipments. A conversation between the two suspects, while they were in a holding cell, tipped an agent off that there was more to this case. Fabela directed Rodriguez to take the blame for everything and said that everything would go smoothly as long as the agents did not get any surveillance footage from the motel.

Agents found a parking pass for Motel 6 in Fabela’s wallet with the license plate for Rodriguez’s truck written on it. In the room, agents found a food saver, rubber gloves, packaging material consistent with what was inside the previously seized box, and coffee grounds. Fabela’s wallet contained a Walmart receipt for these items, and surveillance footage from the store confirmed that he had purchased them.

After being Mirandized, Rodriguez admitted that he had agreed to mail drugs for Fabela so he could make some money. After meeting at a Walmart to purchase necessary items, the pair had checked into a Motel 6 in San Ysidro to prepare the narcotics for shipment. An arraignment hearing for the pair has been scheduled for Friday, February 8, 2018.