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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 8, 2022

Three California Men Charged In Conspiracy To Ship Fentanyl-Laced Oxycodone To Middle Tennessee And Other States

Criminal Complaint Alleges Thousands of Pills and More Than Five Kilos of Methamphetamine Shipped to Nashville and Columbia, Tennessee

NASHVILLE – Three Santa Rosa, California men were arrested in California yesterday and charged with conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances in middle Tennessee, announced U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee. 

Matthew Cox, 26, Marcus Johnson, 24, and Ricardo Molinero-Alcarez, 27, were arraigned before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of California today and will be transported to the Middle District of Tennessee at a later date. 

According to the criminal complaint, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations were investigating the distribution of counterfeit fentanyl-laced Oxycodone tablets with the inscription “M30,” being shipped from the Santa Rosa area to Virginia, and to more than a dozen other states, including Tennessee.  Subsequent investigation, including surveillance and the review of social media sites and mobile payment records, identified the trio charged today.

During the investigation, agents determined that the drug distribution network was tied to other individuals in Columbia, Tennessee, and that fentanyl laced tablets were being shipped to middle Tennessee.   During a recent search in Columbia, law enforcement recovered a loaded firearm and blue tablets inscribed “M30.”

On July 25, 2022, HSI agents seized a package from a UPS Store in Sebastopol, California, which was destined for Nashville.  This package contained thousands of counterfeit fentanyl-laced Oxycodone “M30” tablets weighing approximately 2.4 kilograms.  The package also contained more than eight pounds of methamphetamine. 

On August 9, 2022, agents intercepted two packages from the Santa Rosa area which were destined for residences in Nashville.  One package contained 472 grams of the Oxycodone “M30” tablets and the other package contained approximately four pounds of methamphetamine. 

If convicted, each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison.

This case is being investigated by the DEA; Homeland Security Investigations; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the FBI; and the Columbia Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Ahmed Safeeullah is prosecuting the case. 

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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Topic(s): 
Opioids
Drug Trafficking
Contact: 
David Boling Public Affairs Officer 615-736-5956 david.boling2@usdoj.gov
Updated September 8, 2022