Marysville, Washington, man who ran fentanyl pill mill from his garage sentenced to 15 years in prison
Seattle – Two residents of Marysville, Washington, were indicted this week following their arrest last week at a makeshift fentanyl pill lab in their rental home garage, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. Jose Eduardo Garnica, 34, and Lauren Malina Wilson, 29, are scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on August 18, 2022. Both are charged with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute fentanyl, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Garnica remains detained at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac. Wilson was released this week to the custody of her mother, with active GPS monitoring.
According to the criminal complaint, the pair came to the attention of law enforcement on June 17, 2022, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Los Angeles inspected a package shipped from China to Garnica’s Marysville address. The package was labeled “furniture parts,” but in fact it contained dies for use in a pill press that would make pills that appear to have the markings of oxycodone pills. Further investigation of Garnica and Wilson revealed numerous unusual cash transactions and the purchase of 11 firearms in a three-month span of 2020. In fact, when law enforcement searched the home last week, agents seized more than 20 guns and 27 kilos of fentanyl. Many of the guns were assault weapons or guns with extended magazines. One of the firearms had been reported stolen. Law enforcement also seized 50,000 rounds of ammunition.
Thursday morning, July 21, 2022, agents with Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI executed search warrants at the Marysville residence and seized the pill press and other materials for making fake oxycodone pills in the garage. Both Garnica and Wilson were arrested at the scene. Officers called a hazmat team to secure the lab due to the potentially deadly nature of fentanyl powder.
In court filings regarding detention, prosecutors told the court that the couple had access to $400,000 in cryptocurrency as well and multiple financial transactions that triggered bank reporting requirements.
If convicted each defendant faces a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence on the drug counts due to the amount of fentanyl involved. The gun charge is punishable by a consecutive five year sentence – meaning each defendant faces a mandatory 15-year prison sentence if convicted.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI with assistance from the Washington State Patrol, National Guard Civil Service Team, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Custom and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations, the Snohomish County Drug Task Force, and the Skagit County Drug Task Force.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi.
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.