Attorney General Mark Brnovich Indicts Man Arrested for Illicit Drug Trafficking

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) announced the indictment of a man recently arrested on drug trafficking-related charges.

“On May 11, 2022, law enforcement arrested [Jose Luis] Montoya Miranda on suspicion of trafficking illicit drugs. Law enforcement located approximately 140,000 fentanyl pills, over 11 pounds of fentanyl powder, 2.11 pounds of heroin, 2.9 pounds of methamphetamine, and a handgun. The charges are based on an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA),” an attorney general’s office statement said.

The counts for indictment include transportation of a narcotic drug for sale (fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine), one count of illegally conducting an enterprise, and misconduct involving weapons, the AG’s office noted.

Montoya Miranda is not the only recent case of fentanyl seizures in Arizona.

According to another press release from the Attorney General’s Office, there has been a spike in drug seizures this year.

“Looking at the first quarter of 2022 – January, February, and March – we saw higher numbers of fentanyl pill and fentanyl powder and methamphetamine seizure than we had seen last year combined,” said Theresa Rassas, Section Chief Counsel for the Drug & Racketeering Section of the Attorney General Office (SGO).

Last week, Casa Grande Police arrested two Phoenix women, Martha Lopez and Tania Luna Solis, in possession of 500,000 fentanyl pills.

On Saturday, the Phoenix Police Department (PHXPD) seized drugs from Arizona man Adrian Valladares. PHXPD confiscated 193,000 fentanyl pills, 855 grams of cocaine, 15 firearms, and a young Nile crocodile in their search.

In late April, law enforcement officers seized over 50 pounds of fentanyl from a single 21-year-old. The estimated street price of the bust is $ 1.2 million.

According to the Bedrock Recovery Center, a single dose of fentanyl goes for a street price of roughly two dollars. A gram can cost upwards of $200.

The DEA states that illicit fentanyl is dangerous because those creating counterfeit pills often mix it with other drugs to increase potency. These other drugs can include heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Officials say that two to three milligrams is a fatal dose for most people, and 42 percent of illicit pills tested by the DEA contained at least 2 milligrams of fentanyl.

Earlier this month, a Tucson man pleaded guilty to distributing fentanyl that caused death. According to a press release from the Department of Justice, Oscar Acuna admitted he sold fentanyl and black tar heroin to a woman and man in 2020. The woman died, and an autopsy confirmed the cause of death was fentanyl and heroin toxicity.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and Star News Media. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mark Brnovich” by Mark Brnovich. Background Photo “Drugs and Guns” by Phoenix Police.


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