Two separate investigations by Phoenix police narcotics investigators and a joint Bureau of Indian Affairs and Drug Enforcement Administration operation resulted in the seizure of 45,000 fentanyl pills this past week. One incident occurred in west Phoenix while the second took place on an Indian reservation that sits on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The first seizure took place on Tuesday when Phoenix Police Department narcotics detectives received information from a patrol officer about possible illegal activity at a Motel 6 located near 59th Avenue and Interstate 10 on the city’s west side. A patrol officer arrested an adult female identified inside one of the rooms at that location.
During the arrest of the female, patrol officers observed drug ledgers and other items recognized to be drug paraphernalia which led to the request for assistance from narcotics detectives. Upon the arrival of detectives, the investigators detained a 38-year-old male identified as Emmanuel Romero Hernandez. Detectives then searched the room and discovered approximately 15,000 fentanyl pills, two handguns, scales, multiple cell phones, and more than $9,000 in cash. After being interviewed, Hernandez claimed that he was given $5,000 dollars by two men he met the day before who allegedly told him to hold on to the fentanyl pills. Police transported Hernandez to the Maricopa County Jail and charged with possession of narcotic drugs for sale, money laundering, and misconduct involving weapons, according to a KTAR report.