Defendant Charged with Importation of More than 20,000 Fentanyl Pills at the San Ysidro Port of Entry
Assistant U. S. Attorney Sherri Walker Hobson (619) 961-0287
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – August 9, 2018
SAN DIEGO – Fernando Jesus Peraza, a U.S. citizen living in Tijuana, was arraigned in federal court today on charges of importing over 20,000 fentanyl pills in what is believed to be the largest seizure of fentanyl in pill form along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Peraza, who works in San Diego County, was arrested at the San Ysidro Port of Entry today at 2:30 a.m. According to court records, Peraza was the driver, registered owner and sole occupant of the vehicle. U.S. Custom Border & Protection officers initially contacted Peraza in preprimary inspection area but was then referred to secondary inspection, where officers found four packages concealed in the passenger side rear quarter panel. The pills tested positive for fentanyl but were designed to resemble M30s, or oxycodone.
At Peraza’s initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jill Burkhardt, the United States requested detention based on risk of flight. Judge Burkhardt scheduled a detention hearing for August 10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. and a preliminary hearing for August 21, 2018 at 9 a.m.
Earlier this month, Cristian Araujo Aguirre, 19 of Tijuana, was charged with importing 11,490 fentanyl pills, 61 pounds of methamphetamine and 14 pounds of heroin. Aguirre was arrested at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on August 1, 2018. Aguirre is currently detained. His next court appearance is on August 31, 2018.
“This is the biggest fentanyl pill seizure we’ve seen along the Southwest Border, and it’s likely a national record,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. “I’m relieved that these pills are off the streets because of the vigilant work of law enforcement. But that relief is tempered by the fact that people are overdosing every day because they took fentanyl-laced pills just like these, oblivious to the deadly consequences.”
DEFENDANT Case Number 18MJ4376
Fernando Jesus Peraza Age: 38 Tijuana, Mexico
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Importation of Controlled Substances
Maximum penalty: Ten years minimum to life; $1 million fine
Homeland Security Investigations
U.S. Customs & Border Protection
*The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.