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Press Release

Oregon Woman Indicted for Allegedly Trafficking Approximately 19 Pounds of Fentanyl

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

Salt Lake City, Utah – A federal grand jury in Utah returned an indictment March 1, 2023, charging an Oregon woman for possession with the intent to distribute illicit drugs, specifically fentanyl and heroin, and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

According to court documents, on February 9, 2023, Ruth Mery Argueta, 31, was stopped in a Nissan Frontier Pickup truck by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper for an equipment violation.  Upon contact with the vehicle, the trooper detected the smell of burnt marijuana, for which Argueta, the sole occupant in the vehicle, did not have a medical marijuana card for. After being questioned by the trooper, Argueta showed the trooper additional marijuana, and a marijuana grinder. A search of the vehicle was conducted leading to the recovery of approximately 19 pounds of fake blue M30 pills purported to contain fentanyl; over one kilogram of heroin; a loaded firearm; approximately one ounce of raw marijuana; rolling papers; over $4,000; and a burnt marijuana joint. Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of the evidence and preliminary test results of the drugs were positive for fentanyl and heroin.

Argueta is charged with possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The defendant is scheduled for her initial court appearance March 6, 2023, at 11:45 a.m. before a U.S. Magistrate Judge via Zoom conference.

U.S. Attorney Trina A. Higgins for the District of Utah made the announcement.

The case is being investigated jointly by the DEA and the Department of Public Safety.

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Vernon G. Stejskal, for the District of Utah is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Felicia Martinez
Public Affairs Specialist
(801) 325-3237

Updated March 3, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 23-15