Skip to main content
Press Release

Former Border Patrol Agent Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute 4ANPP Used in the Manufacturing of Fentanyl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

Assistant U. S. Attorney Sherri Hobson (619) 961-0287


SAN DIEGO – Former U.S. Border Patrol Agent Cesar Daleo pleaded guilty in federal court today to drug charges, admitting that he conspired to distribute the precursor chemical known as “4ANPP,” the primary ingredient for manufacturing deadly fentanyl.

Daleo was arrested on August 29, 2017, while trying to drive into Mexico with a package that he believed contained 4ANPP (4-anilino-N-phenethyl-4-piperidine), a Schedule II Controlled Substance. According to court records, Daleo had just picked up the package, shipped from China, at a post office box in San Ysidro. He had previously picked up 13 other packages from the same post office box.

Unbeknownst to Daleo, a few weeks earlier on August 11, 2017, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent stationed at Los Angeles International Airport had intercepted a package from China and discovered it contained 4ANPP.  Homeland Security Investigations agents then replaced the 4ANPP with a harmless substance and waited for someone to pick it up at its destination in San Ysidro, California. When Daleo did so, and then headed to Mexico, he was intercepted by law enforcement before crossing the border. Daleo admitted today in court that there was an agreement to distribute 4ANPP and that he joined the agreement knowing its purpose and intending to help accomplish that purpose.

Daleo admitted in his plea agreement that, starting at least in December of 2016, he picked up multiple parcels at the mail box facility in San Ysidro. After picking up these parcels, which were shipped from China, Daleo was paid to transport the parcels to Mexico.

He also admitted that some of the parcels contained a substance that could be used to manufacture more illegal drugs. One kilogram of precursor 4ANPP was seized that day - enough to manufacture approximately 25 kilograms of fentanyl in a Mexican drug lab.

Daleo is scheduled to be sentenced before U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel on September 28, 2018, at 8:30 a.m.

Daleo also faces federal charges in a second case, 18cr2968. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in April for conspiring to illegally smuggle sea cucumbers and sea horses protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species into the United States from Mexico.”  The next hearing is set for July 27, 2018, at 11:30 am.

DEFENDANT                                               Case Number 17-cr-3041                             

Cesar Daleo                                   Age: 47                   San Ysidro                                               


Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances, 4ANPP – Title 21, U.S.C., Section 841 and 846

Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison and $500,000 fine


Homeland Security Investigations

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Postal Inspection Service

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Updated July 12, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CAS18-0712-Daleo