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County Deputy Accused Of Transporting Fentanyl Following Cartel Investigation

A former Riverside County sheriff's correctional deputy, Jorge Oceguera-Rocha, was implicated in a major drug trafficking investigation linked to the Sinaloa cartel, culminating in his arrest with 104 pounds of fentanyl pills in his private car. This arrest was part of "Operation Hotline Bling," a broader initiative that led to 15 arrests and substantial drug seizures, including 376 pounds of methamphetamine, 37.4 pounds of fentanyl, 600,000 fentanyl tablets, 1.4 kilograms of cocaine, and seven firearms. 

"During the course of the investigation, agents developed information regarding a corrupt Riverside County Correctional Deputy … ultimately assisting in the arrest of the deputy while he was in possession of 104 pounds of fentanyl pills," the release said.

The operation, announced on April 25 by the DEA and Riverside Police, targeted cartel activities in Riverside County, netting drugs worth $16 million. Despite Oceguera-Rocha's pivotal role in trafficking narcotics while off duty, there was no explicit confirmation of his direct involvement with the Sinaloa cartel. Oceguera-Rocha, 25, from Banning, pleaded not guilty to felony drug possession charges and resigned following his arrest. 

The DEA highlighted the operation's impact, noting the seized fentanyl could produce 10 million lethal doses, highlighting the opioid's role as the leading cause of death among Americans aged 18 to 45. A federal grand jury has since charged six individuals in a related conspiracy, revealing a network of stash houses and distribution through local post offices.


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