Jonathen Aguilar and Ruben Lopez were taken into custody on Wednesday.
Two St. Charles residents were charged in federal court this week for possession of two kilograms of fentanyl with the intent to distribute, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Jonathen Aguilar, 31, and Ruben Lopez, 27, were arrested Wednesday after a search of two St. Charles County residences turned up two kilograms of the powerful opioid as well as a handgun, two machines capable of encapsulating drugs and $19,000 in cash.
Federal investigators stopped a suspicious package sent through the postal service from an address in California to an apartment in the 2000 block of Avignon Drive in St. Charles and obtained a warrant to open the parcel. Inside they found a one-kilogram brick of fentanyl wrapped in clothing.
The wily investigators secured the drug but allowed the package to be delivered to the address, whereupon Lopez picked it up and brought it into the apartment. Investigators armed with a warrant then executed a search of the residence, where they found a Glock 27 .40 caliber handgun and the pill-making machines.
An additional search in the 400 block of Molina Way in St. Peters turned up another kilogram of the drug, as well as $19,000 in cash. According to investigators, the street value of two kilograms of fentanyl is more than $100,000 — and would be enough for 1.5 million fatal doses. (And yeah, that shit can kill you
Lopez was taken into custody at the Avignon residence. Aguilar was arrested at St. Louis Lambert International Airport after arriving on a flight from California.
The bust is the result of a joint investigation between the St. Louis Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the St. Peters Police Department, the St. Charles County Police Department and the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force.
“Through our strategic, investigative operations we removed more than 1.5 million potentially lethal doses of poison from hitting the streets of St. Charles County,” Special Agent in Charge William J. Callahan of the DEA says in a statement. “The DEA’s mission is clear and we will continue to disrupt, dismantle and destroy drug trafficking organizations who impact our communities.”
Aguilar and Lopez have been charged with possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl. The charge carries a mandatory ten-year minimum sentence if the suspects are convicted.