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Press Release

Two Denver Men Arrested After Search Found Large Quantity Of Fentanyl, Heroin, and Cocaine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado
“Brick” of fentanyl was first thought to be black tar heroin that led to Denver public health bulletin

DENVER – United States Attorney Jason Dunn announced that two Denver men were charged yesterday for possessing fentanyl with the intent to distribute it.  Gilbert Franco Garcia, age 38, and Jesus Aviles-Higuera, age 29, appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge yesterday afternoon where they were advised of their rights and the charges pending against them.  Both men are in custody, and will be held pending a detention hearing, scheduled for early next week. 

According to facts contained in an affidavit in support of the criminal complaints, on November 1, 2019, members of the Denver Police Department executed a search warrant at 4860 West Mexico Avenue.  During the search, officers recovered approximately 1 kilogram of fentanyl, most of which was in the form of a dark-colored brick; approximately 134 fentanyl pills; approximately 454 grams of black tar heroin; and approximately 75 grams of cocaine.  Officers initially suspected the dark-colored brick was black tar heroin and the pills were Oxycodone, but laboratory testing revealed the only controlled substance in the brick and the pills was fentanyl. 

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is often said to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and many more times more potent than heroin. After seizure, the Denver Police Department issued a public health bulletin to inform the public of the large fentanyl find because of the risk that it could be confused for black tar heroin. 

The Denver Police Department and the Regional Anti-Violence Enforcement Network (RAVEN) are conducting the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter McNeilly is prosecuting the case.

The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. 


Jeff Dorschner
Spokesman, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado
303-454-0243 direct; 303-454-0400 fax

Updated November 15, 2019

Drug Trafficking