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3 accused of trafficking 45 pounds of fentanyl to Henderson

A Clark County grand jury indicted three men accused of trafficking nearly 45 pounds of fentanyl, the illicit opioid said to be many more times powerful than morphine.

The suspects were arrested by Henderson Police Department officers in a sting operation outside Sunset Station the early hours of Aug. 27.

They are Jesus Aguayo Jr., David Alexander Estrada and Ulyses Augurio Lopez-Vazquez.

According to a transcript of the grand jury proceedings, narcotics officers testified that police recovered about 213,000 counterfeit pills inside a suitcase in the trunk of the Dodge Charger occupied by the trio.

Authorities allege the pills were coming from Mexico via Arizona with Henderson being the final destination.

The grand jury panel returned a superseding indictment Tuesday on one count each of trafficking and transporting a controlled substance and conspiracy to violate federal trafficking-related law, documents show.

Henderson Justice Court records show that the suspects each posted a $20,000 bail shortly after their arrests.

The operation was “a planned takedown for a large amount of suspected fentanyl pills,” an officer testified. “At that point we established a plan to remove these items from, or remove the fentanyl pills from the streets, obviously because of the crisis that’s going on and we developed a plan to have it be taken down at Sunset Station.”

The blue pills, marked as “M30s,” were pressed to resembled legitimate 30 mg oxycodone M30 tablets, the detective said.

At least one person in another vehicle that showed up to the drug deal fled. Police did not pursue the vehicle because its driver was driving recklessly, a detective said.

Overdose deaths of Americans from nonpharmaceutical fentanyl have exploded in the last decade.

In Las Vegas, one of the victims was Louis Steyer, a 17-year-old aspiring author, whose parents found him dead in July 2021.

The federal government reported at least 125,000 overdose deaths in 2023 in the U.S., with fentanyl contributing to nearly 60,000 of them, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration report.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com.

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