KERN COUNTY, Calif. (KERO) — Two California men were arrested after they were found in possession of over 400,000 fentanyl-laced pills and other drugs during a traffic stop in Kern County.
According to the Kern County Sheriff's office, several law enforcement agencies along with the KCSO were conducting HIDTA operations along Interstate 5 and Highway 99 in Kern County between October 11th and October 12th. The High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program was "created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, provides assistance to federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States."
Among the agencies involved were the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife, (Cannabis Enforcement Program).
On October 12, 2022, at approximately 12:30 p.m., authorities stopped a car traveling on Interstate 5 near Laval Road. A Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy’s K9 reacted to the possibility of narcotics in the vehicle. A search revealed "a large quantity of counterfeit (M-30) fentanyl-laced pills, kilograms of powder fentanyl, and pound quantities of Xanax and Ecstasy pills."
Members of the Kern County Sheriff's Office then assumed the investigation and a further search of the vehicle "the presence of approximately 113 lbs. of counterfeit (M-30) fentany-laced pills, which is (Approximately 428,348 pills), 8 kilograms of powder fentanyl, 2 ½ lbs. of Xanax pills, and 1 lb. of Ecstasy pills."
As a result of the investigation, 22-year-old Timoteo Evora-Vigil from Bell, California, and 25-year-old Marvin Sanchez from El Monte, California were arrested. They face multiple drug-related charges.