RIVERSIDE, California – A federal grand jury has indicted three people allegedly involved with a local drug-trafficking organization on charges related to the distribution of carfentanil, a powerful fentanyl analogue that is sometimes used to sedate elephants and other large animals.
The indictment filed Wednesday alleges that Alejandra Romero-Agredano, 49, of Fontana; Jorge Martin 27, also of Fontana; and Jose Jesus Camacho-Martinez, 32, of Downey, participated in a drug ring that distributed nearly 26,000 carfentanil pills to undercover agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration agents over a four-month period.
According to the indictment, Romero-Agredano coordinated the distribution of carfentanil, which is many times more potent than fentanyl and heroin.
Earlier this year, undercover agents negotiated delivery of the pills with a Mexican-based co-conspirator. Romero-Agredano, working with Camacho-Martinez and Martin, then delivered three separate shipments each containing thousands of carfentanil pills to undercover DEA agents in the Inland Empire.
This is the first federal carfentanil distribution case charged in the Central District of California.
The three defendants were arrested by the DEA on September 7 pursuant to a criminal complaint. The following week, Romero-Agredano was released on a $300,000 bond, and both Camacho-Martinez and Martin were ordered detained without bond.
The indictment charges all three defendants with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute and controlled substance. Romero-Agredano is additionally charged in three counts that allege the distribution of carfentanil, while Camacho-Martinez and Martin are each charged in one substantive distribution count.
Romero-Agredano will be arraigned on October 3. Camacho-Martinez will be arraigned on October 11. Martin will be arraigned on September 26.
An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
If convicted of the charges in the indictment, each defendant will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The case was investigated by special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, who received substantial assistance from the Fontana Police Department and the Ontario Police Department.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jerry C. Yang of the Riverside Branch Office.