Fresno, CA…California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) today announced a joint operation in Fresno County resulting in the felony arrest of a suspect and the seizure of more than 150 pounds of narcotics, including 485,000 fentanyl pills disguised as oxycodone and 45 pounds of cocaine. The arrest is the result of a traffic stop on September 8, 2023, by a CHP officer and subsequent investigation by the California Department of Justice (DOJ). The suspect was booked into the Fresno County Jail on charges of possession of cocaine and fentanyl for sale, and the transportation of cocaine and fentanyl across noncontiguous counties. The case will be prosecuted by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office.
“I am grateful for the work of our partners at the California Highway Patrol for their collaboration to get these illicit and dangerous drugs off our streets,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Whether through the seizure of illicit fentanyl through our ongoing enforcement efforts or by bringing California billions of dollars through our lawsuits and investigative efforts to hold the opioid industry accountable, the California Department of Justice is all-in when it comes to protecting California families from the dangers of fentanyl. I want to thank our teams and our law enforcement partners across the state for their work in taking fentanyl off our streets and out of California communities. There are countless lives being saved as a result of their important and difficult work.”
“Working with our law enforcement partners throughout the state is critical to the success in our mission of removing illegal narcotics from our streets,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee. “Meaningful collaboration is the key to achieving our common goal of creating safer, drug-free communities for all of California.”
The High Impact Investigation Team (HIIT) is a California DOJ Bureau of Investigation-led multiagency task force, federally funded through the national High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program. It is comprised of members from the California Department of Justice, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation-Special Services Unit, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Madera County Sheriff’s Office, Kings County Sheriff’s Office, Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Fresno Police Department, Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, California Highway Patrol, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. As part of DOJ’s task force program, the participating agencies of HIIT work in collaboration to combat drug trafficking organizations, violent career criminals and gangs. These unique and essential teams use the latest technology and advanced investigative techniques and work alongside local, state, and federal law enforcement to enhance investigations into violent criminals and organized crime throughout the state.
It is important to note that a criminal complaint contains charges that are only allegations against a person. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.
Attorney General Bonta continues DOJ’s work with local, state, and federal partners to:
- End the fentanyl crisis through efforts with state and local law partners, securing ongoing funding for DOJ fentanyl enforcement, operations to remove fentanyl from California communities including in Placer and Merced Counties, and legal actions to hold manufacturers and distributors accountable. Since April 2022, DOJ fentanyl seizures totaled approximately 9,348,852 fentanylpills seized, 1,213 pounds of powder seized, and over 200 arrests.
- Prevent gun violence through the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, operations to get guns out of the hands of prohibited persons; and legislation to strengthen California laws and the hold the firearm industry accountable.
- Take down human trafficking rings in San Diego, Kings County, and throughout California, and launching Human Trafficking and Sexual Predator Apprehension Teams within the DOJ. To date, the teams have arrested approximately 649 traffickers and assisted or supported 650 victims in operations throughout the state.
- Combat retail theft by securing felony sentencing in one of the largest organized retail theft operations ever busted in California history, announcing felony charges against members of a statewide organized retail theft ring, filing charges in operations involving thefts of Home Depot, Apple stores, and Microsoft, by bringing law enforcement and retailers together to address this problem head-on, and creating better communication and information-sharing with retailers and online marketplaces.
- Dismantle gangs and protect neighborhoods in Fresno, River
side, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Stockton, Visalia, Yuba City, and as announced today, in Fresno County.
- Work together with the community to find public safety solutions in Stockton and San Diego.
- Protect elders from abuse and neglect by prosecuting bad actors who steal, defraud, or harm and abuse our elders.
The California Department of Justice is hiring. Visit oag.ca.gov/careers to view available positions and learn how you can help DOJ protect the health, well-being, and public safety of Californians.
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