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East Bay residents plead guilty to large fentanyl operation

Authorities also allegedly found guns, cash in bust

Seven people pleaded guilty last week to charges in connection with a large seizure of fentanyl in the Bay Area, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

U.S. Department of Justice seal.

Six East Bay residents and one Oregon resident admitted to various charges related to conspiracy to distribute fentanyl from two residences in Oakland and San Leandro.

Javier Castro Banegas-Medina, 41, Elmer Rosales-Montes, 29, and Jose Ivan Cruz-Caceres, 32, admitted to selling the drug to others who would act as re-distributers, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney for Northern District of California Stephanie Hinds.

Those who admitted to being re-distributers are Jihad Jad Tawasha, 35, William Joseph Laughren, 26, Heather Borges, 34, and Yeny Lizeth Fernandez-Reyes, 26.

Most will face sentences of a minimum of five years in prison, with a maximum of 40 years for several of the charges, according to Hinds.

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Hundreds of rounds ammunition for multiple calibers of firearms were allegedly found hidden in fenceposts at the Oakland property, along with $31,400 in cash, scales, dyes and blenders.

According to Hinds, the 22-pound seizure was the largest in the Bay Area at the time of the arrests in May 2021. The sellers used colored dyes to mark different strengths of fentanyl with different colors.

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East Bay residents plead guilty to large fentanyl operation

Authorities also allegedly found guns, cash in bust

by Bay City News Service /

Uploaded: Sun, Jul 31, 2022, 4:23 pm

Seven people pleaded guilty last week to charges in connection with a large seizure of fentanyl in the Bay Area, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

Six East Bay residents and one Oregon resident admitted to various charges related to conspiracy to distribute fentanyl from two residences in Oakland and San Leandro.

Javier Castro Banegas-Medina, 41, Elmer Rosales-Montes, 29, and Jose Ivan Cruz-Caceres, 32, admitted to selling the drug to others who would act as re-distributers, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney for Northern District of California Stephanie Hinds.

Those who admitted to being re-distributers are Jihad Jad Tawasha, 35, William Joseph Laughren, 26, Heather Borges, 34, and Yeny Lizeth Fernandez-Reyes, 26.

Most will face sentences of a minimum of five years in prison, with a maximum of 40 years for several of the charges, according to Hinds.

Hundreds of rounds ammunition for multiple calibers of firearms were allegedly found hidden in fenceposts at the Oakland property, along with $31,400 in cash, scales, dyes and blenders.

According to Hinds, the 22-pound seizure was the largest in the Bay Area at the time of the arrests in May 2021. The sellers used colored dyes to mark different strengths of fentanyl with different colors.

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