California Man, Daniel O. Villanueva Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking

Four Pounds of Heroin, Five Pound of Fentanyl Seized at Local Station

KANSAS CITY, MO (STL.News) A Montclair, California, man pleaded guilty in federal court today to drug trafficking after transporting more than four pounds of heroin and approximately five pounds of fentanyl aboard a bus en route to New York City.

Daniel O. Villanueva, 20, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to possessing fentanyl with the intent to distribute.  Villanueva has been in federal custody without bond since his arrest on Oct. 3, 2019.

According to court documents, detectives with the MoWIN (Missouri Western Interdiction and Narcotics) Task Force contacted Villanueva at a local bus station when he disembarked from a bus originating from Los Angeles, California, en route to New York City.  Villanueva gave detectives permission to search his backpack in the overhead bin in the passenger compartment of the bus.  No contraband was found in the backpack.

Near Villanueva’s backpack was a green backpack, which Villanueva claimed did not belong to him.  Detectives removed the green backpack and a police service canine alerted to the presence of controlled substances inside the backpack.  When passengers boarded the bus, detectives asked whether the backpack belonged to any of them. No one claimed the backpack, so detectives removed it from the bus and searched it.  They found four bundles, concealed within men’s clothing, which contained a total 2.022 kilograms (approximately 4.4 pounds) of heroin and 2.27 kilograms (approximately five pounds) of fentanyl.

Villanueva, who had been escorted off the bus, told detectives the green backpack was his.  Villanueva told detectives he was to be paid $5,000 to deliver the heroin and fentanyl to New York City.