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Press Release

Woman Arrested at KC Bus Station Charged with Possessing Fentanyl

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A woman carrying more than five pounds of fentanyl in her suitcase as she traveled through Kansas City, Mo., was charged in federal court today.

“Synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl, are among the deadliest substances being trafficked across the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison. “I commend our law enforcement partners for their diligent work to identify and disrupt the distribution networks used by drug traffickers.”

Evelyn C. Sanchez, 33, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., with possessing fentanyl with the intent to distribute. Sanchez remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, Sanchez was traveling from Los Angeles, Calif., en route to New York, N.Y. Her bus stopped briefly at a Kansas City bus station on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. After Kansas City police detectives interviewed Sanchez at the bus station, they became suspicious that she was not being truthful about her trip and purpose for going to New York. A K-9 alerted to a grey, hard-sided suitcase under one of the seats near where Sanchez had been seated on the bus, and she eventually acknowledged that that suitcase belonged to her.

When detectives searched Sanchez’s suitcase, the affidavit says, they found two bundles wrapped in several layers of plastic, which contained a total of 5.3 pounds or 2.4 kilograms of N-phenyl-N-[1-(2-phenylethyl)-4-piperidinyl] propanamide, commonly known as fentanyl.

“I’m proud that the members of the DEA Interdiction Task Force, working collaboratively with the Kansas City Police Department, were able to make a difference by seizing 1.5 million lethal doses of fentanyl from the streets,” DEA St. Louis Division Special Agent in Charge William Callahan said. “We task these interdiction groups with an increasingly difficult task ... to seize drugs before they hit the streets of our communities. Today, they made an impact. They kept this poison out of our neighborhoods and potentially saved countless lives. We are extremely grateful to our state, local, and federal counterparts who contribute to these interdiction efforts.”

“Our Interdiction Unit did an excellent job,” Kansas City Police Chief Richard C. Smith said. “This was a huge amount of fentanyl capable of killing thousands of people. I’m very proud of our detectives and of how our excellent working relationships with our federal partners are keeping dangerous drugs like this off the streets and holding traffickers accountable.”

The charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Q. McCarther. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.

Updated August 22, 2018

Drug Trafficking