According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Homeland Security agents learned of a trafficking network that brought in fentanyl pills to western Washington from Mexico.
In August 2022, agents, acting in an undercover capacity, Homeland Security purchased an initial batch of 2,000 fentanyl pills from the suspects.
In September, the agents put in a request for 75,000 pills for $112,000. The deal was set for Sept. 28 near the Bellingham airport. While one co-conspirator was delivering the drugs to one location, two other men met with undercover agents at a coffee shop where the undercover agents briefly showed the two men what appeared to be $112,000 in cash.
22-year-old Guillermo Vieyra Salas, 41-year-old Jamie Alonso Hernandez and Manuel Lugo were arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
Due to the quantity of drugs involved, the suspects face a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence, and a maximum of life in prison.
"There have been far too many deaths in Whatcom County attributable to fentanyl overdoses," said Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo. "We were pleased to join forces with our federal partners to disrupt the criminal enterprises that are bringing this deadly menace into our community."