3 arrested in Fort Worth tried to sell 125,000 fentanyl pills for Sinaloa Cartel, feds say

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Patrick Sison/AP

Federal authorities in Fort Worth have arrested and charged three people with possession with intent to distribute around 400 grams of Fentanyl pills, according to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Alexander Campos, Luis Lopez Sanchez and Ashley Cobain were arrested after a sting operation and each face charges of possessing and planning to sell the schedule II controlled substance, a felony, according to the complaint.

Investigators began setting up the sting operation after a confidential source contacted the DEA and Fort Worth police saying they could buy counterfeit Percocet pills from Campos, who is associated with a Mexican drug trafficking organization, DEA Agent Derek Dean said in the criminal complaint.

With the blessing of federal investigators, the confidential source began making arrangements to buy 125,000 of the counterfeit pills from Campos, according to the complaint. Campos, who at the time lived in California, agreed to sell the pills for $225,000. The exchange was to happen in Fort Worth.

On April 17, Dean says in the complaint that the confidential source began making and receiving recorded calls to and from Campos to negotiate the sale. It was to take place that evening.

Fort Worth police and DEA agents set up surveillance at a QuikTrip gas station at 4577 Marine Creek Park and in a nearby residence on Northwest 32nd Street, according to the complaint. Agents and police met with the confidential source at 5 p.m. and the source’s vehicle was searched to ensure there was nothing illegal inside. The source arrived at the QuikTrip around 5:20 p.m.

Dean wrote in the complaint that Campos arrived at the QuikTrip around 5:35 p.m. with Sanchez and Cobain and agreed with the confidential source to go to the nearby house to make the exchange. There, after a brief discussion, Sanchez started taking parts off the rear passenger-side door to reveal several brick-shaped packages in brown wrapping paper, “consistent with the physical shape and similar packaging of large quantities” of counterfeit Percocet.

The confidential source gave a predetermined signal after seeing the packages and an arrest team moved in to detain Campos, Sanchez and Cobain without incident, according to Dean.

During interrogation, Campos told authorities he distributes illegal narcotics for the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, according to the criminal complaint. He had been working with the organization for the past six to twelve months and had made several exchanges in that time, he told investigators. He was to be paid $800 by the cartel for driving from Los Angeles for the delivery in Fort Worth.

Sanchez’s job was to remove the drugs from the car door and handle the money, Dean said Campos told investigators. He also told them he had previously dated Cobain and was planning to pay her $200 for the trip.

Sanchez told investigators during an interview that he is from Sinaloa, Mexico, and crossed into the U.S. illegally about a week prior through Tijuana, Mexico. He said he was recruited by the cartel to participate in its distribution operations and corroborated what Campos said about what Sanchez’s job was.

When they interviewed Cobain, she told investigators she was supposed to be paid $4,000 by Campos for traveling with him to Fort Worth to “pick up some money,” Dean wrote. She suspected Campos was involved in distributing illegal drugs and thought that was the reason for his trip to Texas, she told them.