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October 18 , 2017
Contact: Public Information Officer
Number: 206-553-1162
DEA charges California man linked to one of the largest fentanyl seizures in the Pacific Northwest

(SEATTLE) – Late yesterday law enforcement agents at the Nogales, Arizona border crossing from Mexico to the United States arrested a California man linked to one of the largest fentanyl seizures in the Pacific Northwest.  Daniel Guerrero, 28, of Palmdale, California, was identified by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents as a source for Mexican cartel connected fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine in late July 2017.  Guerrero entered into a drug deal with a person working with law enforcement that resulted in the seizure in August 2017, of over 24 pounds of fentanyl, over two pounds of heroin, and 12 pounds of methamphetamine.  The drugs were seized from a mini-van parked at an apartment complex in Puyallup, Washington.

 “Twenty four pounds of fentanyl hitting the streets of Tacoma and Seattle would have been my worst nightmare,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis. “The size of this shipment is extremely alarming because of the potential number of lethal doses and the deadly consequences it could have for those afflicted by opioid dependency.”

According to records filed in the case, Guerrero was planning on selling the seized drugs for $350,000.  Guerrero left the California licensed mini-van at a Puyallup apartment and used a rental car to take his family to eastern Washington.  Law enforcement seized the drugs and mini-van. Guerrero quickly left Washington State for California and then traveled on to Mexico. 

Guerrero was charged by criminal complaint and when he attempted to return to the United States at Nogales, he was arrested on the warrant.  He made his initial appearance today in Arizona and the criminal complaint was unsealed.

“As the Deputy Attorney General announced this week, black market fentanyl is a serious and growing health threat across this country,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  “This seizure of more than 11 kilos of fentanyl took millions of doses of a very dangerous drug off the streets and out of our western Washington communities.  I commend law enforcement for their good work and for continuing to prioritize those who bring this poison into our communities.”

The charges contained in the criminal complaint 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 was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Tacoma Resident Office, along with the Tahoma Narcotics Enforcement Team (TNET), which consists of the Washington Department of Corrections, Auburn Police Department, Bonney Lake Police Department Lakewood Police Department, Tacoma Police Department, Puyallup Police Department, and the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.  The case was supported by the Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and National Guard.


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