Attorney General Bonta Announces Massive Fentanyl Seizure of More Than 720,000 Pills in San Diego County

Wednesday, February 14, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

SAN DIEGO — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced a joint operation in San Diego County resulting in the felony arrest of a suspect and the seizure of 720,000 fentanyl pills. On February 9, 2024, Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Fentanyl Abatement & Suppression Team (FAST), in collaboration with the California Department of Justice San Diego Fentanyl Enforcement Program (SD FEP), the United States Border Patrol (USBP), and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSD), arrested an individual in Alpine after an investigation determined that the individual was driving a vehicle containing a large quantity of fentanyl.

“This massive bust is the largest fentanyl seizure since DOJ announced a partnership between our Fentanyl Enforcement Program and FAST Task Force,” said Attorney General Bonta. “I am grateful for the work of our special agents and law enforcement partners in getting these illicit and dangerous drugs off our streets. Whether through the seizure of illicit fentanyl through our ongoing enforcement efforts or by bringing California billions of dollars through our lawsuits and investigative efforts to hold the opioid industry accountable, the California Department of Justice is all-in when it comes to protecting California families from the dangers of fentanyl. There are countless lives being saved because of this important and difficult work.”

A total of 110 packages were removed from the vehicle with a total combined weight of 72.05 kilograms (158.5 pounds). The packages contained blue pills with “M30” markings and the initial investigation determined the pills contained fentanyl. Law enforcement estimated approximately 720,000 fentanyl pills were removed from the vehicle. The prosecution of this case will be handled by the California Department of Justice.

An image from the seizure can be found here.

The complaint can be found here.

HSI San Diego FAST is a multiagency task force comprised of state, local and federal partners and was first established in August 2022 focusing on the disruption and dismantlement of criminal organizations that smuggle and distribute fentanyl within San Diego County. HSI’s FAST targets fentanyl smuggling and distribution networks to counter the rising overdose rate and decrease the availability and accessibility of fentanyl.

In 2022, and in response to the fentanyl epidemic, the California Legislature and the Governor approved appropriation for the creation of the California Department of Justice, Division of Law Enforcement, Bureau of Investigation’s (BI) Fentanyl Enforcement Program (FEP). FEP works with local and federal law enforcement partners throughout the state to address the fentanyl crisis and get these dangerous drugs off California’s streets. The program is comprised of BI regional investigative teams placed in San Diego, Los Angeles, Dublin, and Sacramento. A Special Agent in Charge serves as the program manager and each team has a Special Agent Supervisor, five Special Agents, a Staff Services Analyst and a Crime Analyst I. Through collaboration with existing BI Task Forces, the FEP targets major fentanyl-trafficking criminal networks. The program leverages existing BI Task Forces and local and federal law enforcement partnerships to identify, investigate, disrupt, and dismantle these criminal networks. BI has the unique expertise, state-wide perspective and vertical prosecution model to impact fentanyl-trafficking criminal networks.

It is important to note that a criminal complaint contains charges that are only allegations against a person. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.


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