Phoenix/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on July 10, 2024
Mesa Police Seize $1.2 Million in Fentanyl, Arrest Three Suspects in Significant Drug BustSource: Rainerzufall1234, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In what amounted to a substantial blow against the regional drug trade, Mesa police have reported the seizure of an estimated $1.2 million worth of fentanyl and the arrest of three individuals linked to the narcotics. The operation unfolded on the morning of July 4, after the police were called to check on a suspicious vehicle and its occupants, as reported by the City of Mesa.

According to the City of Mesa, the incident occurred just before 10:30 am, when officers were dispatched for a welfare check at a parking lot located at 645 W. Rio Salado Parkway. The call was made over concerns about three people in a gold Cadillac, one of whom appeared to be unconscious at the wheel. The situation quickly escalated when the driver, identified as 26-year-old Gabriel Rodriguez, spotted the officers and fled on foot. Although Rodriguez managed to evade initial capture, his flight was cut short after sustaining an injury from razor wire, leading to his transportation to the hospital.

While one officer pursued Rodriguez, others investigated the vehicle, where they found not only 38-year-old Julian Reyes and 24-year-old Sunflower Short but a scattering of small blue pills and packaged bundles inside. A subsequent search, conducted under warrant, revealed the staggering quantity of narcotics: over 200 pounds of illicit fentanyl, split among 58 packaged bundles, amounting to roughly 750,000 M30 blue pills, as per the City of Mesa.

Reyes and Short were promptly arrested and booked into jail on charges of Possession of Narcotic Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia, while Rodriguez remains hospitalized facing his additional charges of Possession and Transport of Narcotic Drugs for Sale, and, Possession of Narcotic Drugs.