LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Three Mexican men arrested in El Monte this week for allegedly possessing 1 million fentanyl pills have been charged in a criminal complaint with violating federal drug laws, officials announced Thursday.
The complaint filed Thursday in Los Angeles federal court charges Florencio Camacho Allan, 28, Gerardo Gaixola-Patino, 29, and Alex Valdez Oroz, 25, with one count each of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The defendants are said to be from Sinaloa, Mexico.
The three are expected to make their initial appearances Thursday in federal court in downtown Los Angeles.
According to an affidavit filed with the complaint, the defendants met with two buyers at a restaurant in El Segundo on Tuesday to discuss a 10,000-fentanyl-pill sample sale which would be followed by a deal for 1 million fentanyl pills. During the meeting, Allan and Gaixola met with the buyers while Oroz remained in the car, a white Volkswagen Jetta, the affidavit states.
After the meeting, Allan and Gaixola went to the parking lot where they allegedly sold 10,000 fentanyl pills to the buyers for $7,500. The defendants then left the restaurant under the surveillance of law enforcement.
Later that day, Allan allegedly confirmed with one of the buyers that they were interested in doing the 1 million pill deal and showed one buyer the pills, which appeared to be in the Jetta's trunk, via a WhatsApp video call, prosecutors said.
Upon receiving information about the pills' location, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop on the Jetta, which was parked in a lot at an El Monte hotel, searched the car, and allegedly found roughly 1 million fentanyl pills in the car's body and trunk. Law enforcement then arrested the three defendants on Wednesday morning.
If convicted, each defendant would potentially face a sentence of up to life in federal prison, prosecutors noted.