FRESNO COUNTY – More than 150 pounds of narcotics, including 485,000 fentanyl pills disguised as oxycodone and 45 pounds of cocaine, have been seized as the result of a joint operation by California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
The suspect was booked into the Fresno County Jail after being arrested during a traffic stop on Sept. 8, 2023, by a CHP officer. As of publication, they have been charged with possession of cocaine and fentanyl for sale, and the transportation of cocaine and fentanyl across noncontiguous counties.
“I am grateful for the work of our partners at the California Highway Patrol for their collaboration to get these illicit and dangerous drugs off our streets,” Bonta said in a news release. “There are countless lives being saved as a result of their important and difficult work.”
According to Bonta, the California Department of Justice is all-in when it comes to protecting California families from the dangers of fentanyl. CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee echoes Bonta’s earlier sentiments, stressing the importance of the CHP and the various departments they collaborate with.
“Working with our law enforcement partners throughout the state is critical to the success in our mission of removing illegal narcotics from our streets,” said Duryee in the release. “Meaningful collaboration is the key to achieving our common goal of creating safer, drug-free communities for all of California.”
In order to prevent the spread of drugs, the national High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program funds the California DOJ Bureau of Investigation’s High Impact Investigation Team (HIIT).
HIIT is a multi-agency task force which encompasses various departments and members of California law enforcement, inducing but not limited to members from the California Department of Justice, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, California Highway Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The participating agencies of HIIT work in collaboration to combat various drug trafficking organizations, as well as violent career criminals and gangs. These unique and essential teams use the latest technology and advanced investigative techniques to enhance investigations into violent criminals and organized crime throughout the state.
In tandem with combating the spread of drugs in California, Attorney General Bonta continues DOJ’s work with local, state and federal partners to; prevent gun violence, take down human trafficking rings throughout California, combat retail theft by securing felony sentencing in one of the largest organized retail theft operations ever busted in California history, dismantle gangs and protect neighborhoods in various central valley counties, and finally protect elders from abuse and neglect by prosecuting bad actors who steal, defraud, or harm and abuse our elders.
Thanks to the work of both Bonta and the DOJ, fentanyl seizures have totaled approximately 9,348,852 fentanyl pills seized, 1,213 pounds of powder seized, and over 200 arrests since April 2022.
For those interested in assisting in the fight against drug selling and the various other crimes that plague the state, the California Department of Justice is hiring. Visit oag.ca.gov/careers to view available positions.