Grand Jury Charges 18, Including the “M30 King of Fresno”

Federal Grand Jury Charges 18, Including the “M30 King of Fresno” and His Fentanyl Trafficking Ring

FRESNO, CA (STL.News) A federal grand jury returned a 21-count indictment Thursday against 18 individuals, charging them with illegally trafficking fentanyl, fentanyl analogue, methamphetamine, and cocaine as well as illegally possessing firearms, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

Horacio Torrecillas Urias Jr., 22, of Fresno, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl, conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute methamphetamine, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute fentanyl (two counts), conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine, and distribution of fentanyl.

Amadeo Sarabia Jr., 22, of Fresno, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

Justin Dwayne Riddle, 34, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute methamphetamine.

Alma Garza, 21, of Fresno, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine and distribution of fentanyl.

Juan Valencia Jr., 22, of Fresno, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute fentanyl and distribution of fentanyl.

Abel Lozano, 28, of Sanger, is charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Henry Cox, 22, of Sanger, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and attempted distribution of fentanyl.

Alejandro Guzman, 28, of Fresno, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl.

Erica Ramirez, 22, of Fresno, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

Brayan Cruz, 24, of Fresno, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute fentanyl.

Jacob Valles, 26, of Fresno, is charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and fentanyl and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Cody Fyfe, 22, of Fresno, is charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

Christian Harris-Blanchette, 26, of Fresno, is charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

Marvin Carreno, 23, of Fresno, is charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

Victor Yair Torrecillas-Urias, 27, of Fresno, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine.

Oscar Jaramillo-Cortez, 26, of Fresno, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Alex Garcia, 23, of Fresno, is charged with distribution of fentanyl.

Agustin Hernandez, 28, of Fresno, is charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

According to court documents, the investigation began after a series of fentanyl-pill overdoses in the Fresno area. These overdoses were caused by counterfeit oxycodone M30 tablets containing fentanyl, referred to on the street as M30s. Similar to authentic oxycodone M30 tablets, they are small, round, and light blue or green in color with “M” stamped on one side and “30” on the other. The investigation, dubbed “Operation Killer High,” aimed to search for the drug dealers believed to have supplied the toxic pills that caused the recent spike in fentanyl-related overdoses. The operation uncovered a large drug-trafficking ring led by Horacio Torrecillas Urias Jr., the self-proclaimed “M30 king of Fresno.”

According to the criminal complaint, Torrecillas Urias Jr. was obtaining, directly from sources in Mexico, tens of thousands of counterfeit M30 fentanyl pills and large quantities of fentanyl powder, cocaine and methamphetamine. He and his co-defendants were then distributing these illicit narcotics to drug dealers inside and outside of California. During the investigation, federal, state, and local law enforcement agents conducted traffic stops, intercepted packages, and executed residential search warrants that resulted in the recovery of over 55,000 counterfeit M30 fentanyl pills, 6 pounds of fentanyl powder, 10 pounds of methamphetamine, a pound of cocaine, 25 firearms, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition

The case was the result of an investigation by FORT (a multi-agency team composed of Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Fresno Police Department), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Clovis Police Department, the Fresno County Sherriff’s Office, and the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office. The Bakersfield Police Department and the California Highway Patrol assisted in the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin J. Gilio and Laurel J. Montoya are prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.) a program designed to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas as well as identifying wholesale distribution networks and international and domestic suppliers. In July 2018, the Justice Department announced the creation of S.O.S., which is being implemented in the Eastern District of California and nine other federal districts.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

If convicted, the defendants each face a statutory penalty range including a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison and fines up to $1 million to $10 million. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

SOURCE: USDOJ.Today