Cerritos man is charged with operating labs that produced fentanyl laced pills

fentanyl laced pills arrest

A Cerritos man is charged with operating two labs that produced fake pills laced with fentanyl, according to the Orange County Register.

Authorities revealed on Monday, November 21 that a Cerritos man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly running two labs in the Los Angeles area that produced fraudulent fentanyl-laced tablets that were then sold to unaware customers online as other prescription medications.

At a press conference, authorities announced that Christopher Hampton, 36, is accused of using the online identity "Narco710" to conduct business on multiple darknet markets beginning in January 2021.

Authorities claim Hampton established a network of individuals to run labs in Inglewood and Compton after purchasing fentanyl in quantity. The bogus pills, which looked like oxycodone pills but were actually loaded with fentanyl and methamphetamine, were made using a high-speed pill press.

According to court documents, investigators claimed to have found about $1.5 million in profits on two of Hampton's nine online accounts.

On November 2, Hampton, who the grand jury indicted on Friday, was taken into custody. Six search warrants executed as part of the investigation resulted in the discovery of 450 pounds of suspected drugs, six pill presses, illegal guns, and more than 20,000 fentanyl-containing multicoloured pills, according to the authorities.

Distribution, conspiring to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine, and maintaining a location for narcotics distribution were the subject of all 11 offenses charged against him . He might receive a life sentence if found guilty.

The case brought to light what regional, state, and federal agencies described as a rising and life-threatening issue.

Agents from Homeland Security have confiscated more fentanyl in October and November than they did in all of 2019 and 2020 put together. According to HSI Special Agent Eddy Wang, the organisation is on track to capture twice as much fentanyl this fiscal year as it did the prior four years put together.

Federal law enforcement officials described their ongoing attempts to stop businesses like Hampton's from creating fentanyl-laced phoney pills in large quantities.

Officials continue to target street-level dealers who sell products that have resulted in fentanyl poisoning, as well as those who traffic wholesale quantities of fentanyl and fake pharmaceutical pills made by drug cartels, aside from public education and campaigns like the "One Pill Can Kill" campaign.

According to DEA Los Angeles Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner, "violent drug traffickers, notably the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel, are purposefully pushing deadly fentanyl into our communities with blatant disregard for human lives in an effort to maximise their profits." Drug overdoses and drug-related fatalities are decimating American families across the country and killing teens and adults at unprecedented rates. From high-level drug traffickers to low-level dealers, we are after anybody who is accountable for selling this poison falsely and fostering more addiction.

1,600 persons in Los Angeles County passed away from fentanyl poisoning in 2021. According to U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada, the number of deaths in Orange County over the past three years has increased by 500%.

Victims of Illicit Drugs President Jamie Puerta and his wife Denise are just two examples of how fentanyl has ruined families in Southern California.

On April 6, 2020, Puerta discovered his 16-year-old son Daniel Puerta-Johnson unconscious on his bed in their Santa Clarita residence. He was transferred to Children's Hospital Los Angeles right away, but was later pronounced brain dead and removed from life support. The family was informed by L.A. Sheriff's Department investigators that Daniel's bedroom dresser contained a portion of a blue pill that resembled oxycodone. When analysed, the tablet merely contained fentanyl and filler instead of pharmaceutical-grade oxycodone.

Puerta suggested the inclusion of specific fentanyl teaching in all schools to combat the drug's rise to prominence as a culprit of death among young people.

Finding vendors on the dark web

The Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement Team (J-CODE), which is led by the FBI and focuses on vendors by employing cutting-edge methods to identify drug traffickers, conducted the investigation into Hampton.

According to Don Alway, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office, J-CODE has resulted in the arrest of more than 300 darknet traffickers, the recovery of $42 million, 800 kg of cocaine, and 145 weapons since it was first implemented.

He stated that every parent and guardian needed to inform themselves and their kids of all ages about the deadly fentanyl-laced substances that were being marketed on social media platforms and the dark web. This social evil, which is claiming lives at a rate never before seen, will be affected by enforcement actions and buyer education.

filing charges in overdose fatalities

Government representatives have praised the ongoing attempts to bring charges against those detained in connection with overdose deaths. According to officials, the Overdose Justice Task force, which is run by the DEA, is intended to look into fentanyl poisonings and find the supplier of the drugs that contributed to the death. According to police, 51 persons have been charged with selling drugs that led to overdoses since the project's inception almost four years ago. "Nearly all" of these incidents contained fentanyl, and several involved multiple deaths.

As an illustration, Jason Amin Soheili, 27, of Laguna Hills, has consented to enter a guilty plea to two counts of distributing fentanyl that caused death. He has consented to a minimum 20-year prison sentence and is anticipated to submit his pleas at the beginning of next month. Soheili was detained in May 2021 on suspicion of sending a Utah man at least two bogus oxycodone tablets laced with fentanyl. On February 21, 2021, the victim passed away, and only five weeks later, Soheili allegedly gave cocaine laced with fentanyl to a second victim who eventually passed away in his bedroom at his parents' house in Aliso Viejo.

Connections to Mexican cartels

Federal agents are still looking into the wholesale delivery and transportation of deadly medicines. Numerous of these investigations focus on large-scale fentanyl trafficking rings, the majority of which are run by cartels in Mexico that are pushing the potent drug harder than ever, according to officials. According to Eddy Wang, the special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations' Los Angeles office, "Los Angeles has become one of the main fentanyl trafficking hubs due to its near proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border." In order to get rid of this lethal poison from our streets, "HSI Los Angeles has prioritised the targeting of fentanyl traffickers and will work hard with our federal, state, local, and international partners."