Former Mexican municipal officer charged with trafficking enough

Former Mexican municipal officer charged with trafficking enough fentanyl to kill 10 million

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Assmir Contreras-Martinez, 30, is charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Assmir Contreras-Martinez, 30, is charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
TEXAS -

 

A federal grand jury in Amarillo has indicted a former Mexican municipal police officer for fentanyl trafficking, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.

In a superseding indictment filed Thursday evening,

of Tucson, Arizona, was charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, a powerful synthetic narcotic 50 times more potent than heroin.

He was allegedly discovered with roughly 33 kilograms of the drug – likely enough to kill more than 10 million people, according to DEA experts.

“Fentanyl is devastating communities across the country,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “We cannot tolerate the trafficking of this deadly drug through North Texas— especially by those who are charged with protecting our communities, foreign or domestic.”

According to a criminal complaint filed earlier this summer, Contreras-Martinez was pulled over by a Texas DPS trooper driving eastbound on Interstate 40 in Amarillo in back in May.

A search of his vehicle, a 2007 Ford Explorer, allegedly revealed approximately 33 kilograms of a white powdery substance, which the trooper suspected to be drugs, likely cocaine. Subsequent testing revealed the substance was actually fentanyl.

After being advised of his rights, Contreras-Martinez allegedly admitted he was paid $6,000 to transport illegal contraband from California to Florida. This was his second such trip, he said.

During that interview, Contreras-Martinez allegedly stated before his unlawful immigration to the United States seven months prior, he had been employed for eight years as a municipal police officer in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

If convicted, Contreras-Martinez faces 30 years to life in federal prison and may face deportation proceedings after serving his sentence.

Overdoses involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl killed almost 32,000 Americans last year, according to provisional data released by the CDC last week. Because of the drug’s deadly potency, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas has a zero-tolerance policy on fentanyl, taking federally any case that involves the substance or its unlawful analogues, no matter the quantity.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the above investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Marie Bell is prosecuting the case.

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