Fentanyl bust during Highway 99 traffic stop may be one of Valley’s largest, CHP says

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A driver and passenger were arrested in Fresno County recently after California Highway Patrol officers found around 37 pounds of packages containing fentanyl in the vehicle.

CHP says it’s one of the largest fentanyl busts of its kind in recent memory.

On June 24 at about 7 p.m. a CHP officer stopped a 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor on northbound Highway 99 at Tulare Street for obstructed view and following too close violations, according at CHP Officer Eric Zuniga.

The officer was given consent to search the vehicle and called upon CHP K-9 “Bruce” to sniff the vehicle. The CHP said Bruce alerted the officer to the possible odor of narcotics.

The officer searched the vehicle and located plastic containers in the back seat filled with the packages containing the suspected fentanyl pills, according to a news release.

The driver, identified as Jose Zendejas, 25, and passenger, identified as Benito Madrigal, 19, both of Yakima, Washington, were arrested on suspicion of possession of narcotics for sale and transporting narcotics across non-contiguous counties, according to the CHP.

A driver and passenger were arrested during a Fresno County traffic stop, when a California Highway Patrol officer and K-9 found about 37 pounds of suspected fentanyl, according to the California Highway Patrol. Image courtesy of California Highway Patrol.
A driver and passenger were arrested during a Fresno County traffic stop, when a California Highway Patrol officer and K-9 found about 37 pounds of suspected fentanyl, according to the California Highway Patrol. Image courtesy of California Highway Patrol.
A driver and passenger were arrested during a Fresno County traffic stop, when a California Highway Patrol officer and K-9 found about 37 pounds of suspected fentanyl, according to the California Highway Patrol. Image courtesy of California Highway Patrol.
A driver and passenger were arrested during a Fresno County traffic stop, when a California Highway Patrol officer and K-9 found about 37 pounds of suspected fentanyl, according to the California Highway Patrol. Image courtesy of California Highway Patrol.