Cottonwood Police Bust Mexican Men Smuggling Fentanyl

mugshot drugs

Cottonwood — Cottonwood Police and Camp Verde Marshal’s Office K9s seized over 3 pounds of deadly fentanyl, and arrested two Mexican Nationals late last week.

According to the Cottonwood Police Department, officers stopped a Ford Ranger headed toward Cottonwood, on State Route 260 near Cherry Creek Road, for a cracked windshield and expired California license plate.

The drugs were discovered when a Cottonwood officer used his K9 partner, Kratos to check the truck for drugs. Kratos alerted to approximately a gram of methamphetamine and over 3 ½ pounds of fentanyl that was in both powder and pill form.

The fentanyl has an approximate street value of ($900,000.00) nearly a million dollars.

The driver, later identified as 31 year-old Rigoberto Pacheco-Sanchez from Mexico, fled on foot but was captured a short time later.

Pacheco-Sanchez and his passenger identified as 39 year-old Jose Guadalupe Briones-Becerra also from Mexico were booked into the Yavapai County Detention Center for several felony charges including transporting dangerous drugs for sale.

Both men have a $10,000.00 bond and Immigration Customs Enforcement holds placed on them.

Chief Steve Gesell said of the drug seizure, “This is a significant seizure of a dangerous drug taking lives across the country. Conservatively, this is enough fentanyl to kill more than a half a million people.”

According to Cottonwood Police spokesperson, Sergeant Monica Kuhlt, Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking (PANT) were contacted to assist with the investigation because the detectives have the proper training, gear and equipment to safely test fentanyl.

“In order for officers to test fentanyl, or be around it for that matter, they have to don personal protective equipment like Tyvek® suits gloves and masks. And have antagonist medication like Narcan® nearby because an exposure to fentanyl can be deadly,” said Sergeant Kuhlt.

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