STURBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - A Salvadorian national was arrested on Tuesday and charged in federal court in Boston in connection with the seizure of 15 kilos of fentanyl, officials say.
Nelson Garcia Martinez, 37, a Salvadorian national currently residing in Stockton, California was charged with one count of distribution of 400 grams or more of fentanyl, according to U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling’s Office.
Law enforcement conducting surveillance at a rest stop in Sturbridge allegedly observed Garcia Martinez meet with two individuals outside of his tractor-trailer.
When the two individuals left, officers attempted to stop their vehicle, however, the driver refused to stop.
When the car finally pulled to the side of the road, the passenger exited and threw a vacuum sealed garment bag on the ground and fled into a nearby wooded area, while the driver fled the scene at high speeds, officials say.
Upon hitting the ground, the garment bag burst open and officers were able to recover 15 kilograms of fentanyl.
Garcia Martinez consented to a search of his tractor-trailer where vacuum sealed bags matching the one discarded on the side of the road were recovered, officials say.
Officers were led to him after discovering a phone number, allegedly later determined to be associated with Garcia Martinez, that was believed to be used by a drug transporter related to an October 2018 seizure of 32 kilos of fentanyl in Methuen.
Garcia Martinez is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $10 million.
He is also facing deportation upon completion of any sentence imposed on him.
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