Federal agents recently busted two illegal immigrants with ties to a drug organization in Mexico for trafficking massive amounts fentanyl into Ohio.
The suspects, 23-year-old Nabor Zapeda-Ibarria and 40-year-old Jesus Mayorga Gonzalez, appeared in Dayton’s U.S. District Court Tuesday to face charges of possession and intent to distribute fentanyl, a synthetic opioid roughly 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, throughout the region, reports Dayton Daily News.
The pair allegedly smuggled roughly 400 grams of the deadly painkiller into the state, which dealers are increasingly cutting into heroin and cocaine supplies. Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration stopped Mayorga Gonzalez for speeding in January and gave authorities a fake name.
Officials subsequently connected Mayorga Gonzalez to a drug seizure in November 2016 of nearly 20 pounds of heroin, though the suspect was never arrested in the case.
“Specifically, during the prior investigation a cooperating witness stated that Mayorga Gonzalez was a coordinator for large amounts of heroin coming into the Dayton area and was also involved with the collection of large amounts of drug proceeds,” said an affidavit from a special agent with the DEA.
The pair are being held until a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 2.
Drug overdoses, fueled by substances like heroin and fentanyl, are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under age 50, killing more than 64,000 people in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Opioid overdoses made up a staggering 66 percent of all drug overdose deaths in 2016, surpassing the annual number of lives lost to breast cancer.
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