Local bust: 2 men indicted for trafficking enough fentanyl to kill 1 million people

Two men have been federally indicted in Dayton for possession with intent to distribute more than 2,000 grams of fentanyl — an amount a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency website indicated could cause one million fatal overdoses.

Jose Alonso Rios, 35, and Jesus Olegario Vidal Portillo, 21, were each indicted on conspiracy and possession of fentanyl — charges that could lead to prison sentences of 10 years to life if they are convicted.

RELATED: Drug cases ‘plaguing our region,’ U.S. attorney says

Both were indicted Nov. 30 in Dayton’s U.S. District Court after law enforcement filed a complaint saying they were located with two “bricks” of suspected fentanyl each weighing more than 1,000 grams (2.2 pounds). Both are scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

dea.gov website warns first responders that two or three milligrams of fentanyl — which looks like 5 to 7 grains of table salt — could cause death. There are 500 potentially fatal doses in a gram and a criminal complaint and affidavit detailed that two stacks of more than 1,000 grams were found.

A similar bust of two kilograms of fentanyl in Columbus in October prompted Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien to say: “Four and a half pounds of fentanyl is enough to kill all the residents of the city of Columbus.”

RELATED: Accused drug dealer pleads guilty to having 178 caps of fentanyl

Neither the federal prosecutor handling the Dayton case nor the defendants’ attorneys returned messages seeking comment.

A Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent wrote in the complaint that on Nov. 20, law enforcement around Dayton became aware that Rios was staying at the Comfort Inn on Miller Lane in Butler Twp.

Local and federal law enforcement agents including HSI’s Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) observed Rios, his girlfriend and three minor children get into a black Dodge Journey with a Utah license plate, according to the complaint.

RELATED: Police: Alleged dealer flags down cops, sells them fentanyl

The complaint noted Rios was from the Phoenix area and had been arrested previously for trying to smuggle 21 pounds of marijuana across the Mexico-U.S. border.

Troopers stopped the vehicle for a traffic violation, and Rios said he was lost going back to Arizona from Chicago and that his son needed emergency medical attention, the complaint said.

Rios’ vehicle stopped at an ER in Huber Heights, and Rios was observed walking in with a blue bag, the complaint said. About an hour later, the special agent wrote, law enforcement saw a minor boy walk out of the ER with the blue bag and leave it near a dumpster.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

The complaint said the boy was checking out vehicles and watched as a man — later identified as Vidal — got out of a gray Toyota Corolla and retrieve the bag.

Troopers stopped Vidal’s vehicle, a K-9 detected narcotics and two 1,000-plus gram bricks of what field tested positive for fentanyl was found on the passenger floorboard, according to the complaint.

The special agent wrote that Rios agreed to speak with officers and said he didn’t know the substance was fentanyl, but did know it was illegal.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow Mark Gokavi on Twitter or Facebook

Likewise, Vidal waived his Miranda rights, said he didn’t know Rios and said that he was called from Cincinnati to pick up the package and await further instructions, the complaint said.

The affidavit said that when agents asked Vidal what he did for employment, Vidal answered: “This.”


Next Up in Local

Dayton students head to D.C. to march for gun control 
Dayton students head to D.C. to march for gun control 

A group of students from the Dayton area left Friday night, headed to Washington, D.C. to march in the nation's capital Saturday in the name of gun control. The students have a grueling itinerary, leaving from Englewood by bus Friday night, riding by bus through the night and arriving in Washington around 9 a.m.  "We want action and we want...
Florida woman attacks husband for forgetting anniversary, deputies say
Florida woman attacks husband for forgetting anniversary, deputies say

A Florida woman was not very happy when her husband forgot their wedding anniversary, and her anger landed her in jail, deputies said. Carol Stone, 35, of Zephyrhills, was arrested by Pasco County deputies Wednesday on charges of domestic battery, a misdemeanor, WTVT reported. According to her husband, Stone became angry when he admitted he had...
Man arrested in burglary of Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski's home
Man arrested in burglary of Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski's home

One man was arrested and two suspects are being sought in the burglary of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski's house. While the Patriots were playing in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis on Feb. 4, police were called to Gronkowski's house in Foxborough, Massachusetts, for a burglary.  According to a heavily redacted police report, the break-in at Gronkowski's...
West Carrollton considering new rules for massage businesses

Massage business operators in West Carrollton and property owners who lease to them may soon have to meet stricter guidelines. A proposal to strengthen requirements for those establishments in the city includes requiring all employees whose jobs include performing massage services to obtain a medical massage therapist license from Ohio. “One...
Standing several hours a day could help you lost weight
Standing several hours a day could help you lost weight

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Standing instead of sitting for six hours a day could help people lose weight over the long term, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. In recent years, sedentary behavior, such as sitting, has been blamed for contributing to the obesity epidemic, cardiovascular disease...
More Stories