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News / Clark County News

Vancouver men arrested after undercover investigation recovers 7 pounds of fentanyl

Law enforcement also recovered other drugs and weapons in stash house search

By Mia Ryder-Marks, Columbian staff reporter
Published: March 15, 2024, 1:53pm

Two Vancouver men were arrested on suspicion of possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine after a yearlong undercover investigation.

Juan Onofre Flores Carrillo, 48, and Jesus Daniel Valenzuela Ayala, 23, made their first appearances Friday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to the criminal complaint, Flores Carrillo — known as El Cholo — was identified in early 2023 as a significant fentanyl pill dealer in Southwest Washington. Law enforcement worked with confidential informants to make a series of drug purchases from him. At one point, Flores Carrillo sold 3,000 fentanyl pills to an informant, investigators say, and during another incident, he sold the informant a kilo of crystal methamphetamine. Flores Carrillo sold high-powered firearms twice, as well, the news release states.

Earlier this year, law enforcement identified the house where Flores Carrillo kept his drugs. Meanwhile, Flores Carrillo continued his drug sales. On March 13, after Flores Carrillo sold 10,000 fentanyl pills, he was arrested by law enforcement, according to the news release.

Law enforcement served a search warrant on the stash house and found large quantities of drugs — including 7 pounds of fentanyl pills and 43 pounds of suspected methamphetamine. An AK-47-style rifle with a grenade launcher attached was also discovered, the news release states.

Valenzuela Ayala was the only occupant of the stash house and was arrested. Both Valenzuela Ayala and Flores Carrillo are citizens of Mexico and do not have legal status in the United States, according to the news release.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Vancouver Police Department, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.