PORTLAND, Ore.—An Arizona woman is facing federal charges after she was caught trafficking approximately 45,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl and several additional pounds of bulk heroin on Interstate 5 near Salem, Oregon.
Nancy Garcia, 47, of Yuma County, Arizona, has been charged by criminal complaint with possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl and heroin.
According to court documents, on January 16, 2023, an Oregon State Police (OSP) trooper initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle being driven by Garcia northbound on Interstate 5 near Salem. The trooper identified Garcia as the sole occupant of the vehicle and observed that she was traveling with a statue of Santa Muerte, a saint-like figure some individuals believe offers protection in drug trafficking.
Garcia first told the trooper she was traveling to Seattle, but later said she was traveling to and planning to spend a week in Portland. The trooper lawfully searched Garcia’s vehicle and found more than 10 pounds of counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl and five and half pounds of bulk heroin in a bag on the floor behind the driver’s seat. The trooper placed Garcia under arrest and transported the drugs to a law enforcement lab for further evaluation.
On January 18, 2023, Garcia made her first appearance in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You. She was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.
This case is being investigated jointly by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and OSP. It is being prosecuted by Paul T. Maloney, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.