Traffic Stop Leads Tulare County Drug Trafficking Unit to $750,000 Fentanyl Bust
Just before 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Tulare County HIDTA investigators were called to the area of Highway 99 and Tulare Ave. in Tulare to help CHP Officers with a traffic stop.
During their investigation, Detectives with the Tulare County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Unit (HIDTA) found 150 packages, each of 1,000 Fentanyl pills. In total, 150,000 pills were found hidden inside the vehicle. Each pill sells for approximately $5, making the street value of the seizure $750,000.
Detectives arrested 25-year-old Jose Zendejas and 19-year-old Benito Madrigal, both of Washington. They face charges of possession, transportation and sales of illegal drugs. They were booked at the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Sergeant Neil Skrinde or Detective Jeff Dowling with TC HIDTA at (559) 733-6218. Or, they can remain anonymous by calling or texting (559)725-4194 or through email at [email protected]
UPDATE: Fentanyl Suspects Released from Jail on “Own Recognizance”
The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office has received several inquiries in regards to the two suspects arrested during the fentanyl bust last week. We felt it necessary to clear up any confusion there might be about the release process when it comes to our jail system.
All inmates booked into Tulare County jails are sent through what is known as the Risk Assessment Process through the Tulare County Probation Department. That “Risk Assessment” is then sent to a judge with the court, who, then, determines whether or not the individual arrested is held on bail or if they are to be released.
The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office received a court order releasing both suspects from custody on their own recognizance.
Although Sheriff Boudreaux strongly disagrees with the release of these individuals as a matter of public safety, the court order release must be followed.
Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Tulare county Superior Court and/or the Tulare County Probation Department.