Menu Close

Fernando Jesus Peraza, age 39, pleaded guilty to importing over 20,000 fentanyl pills.

Peraza was arrested at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on August 8, 2018. Peraza, a United States citizen, resided in Tijuana at the time of the offense but worked at a local trash collection service in the United States.

The San Ysidro Port of Entry is the largest land border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana, and one of the busiest land border crossings in the world with 70,000 northbound vehicles and 20,000 northbound pedestrians crossing each day, in addition to southbound traffic.

According to court records, Peraza was the driver and sole occupant of his vehicle. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) officers initially contacted Peraza in the pre-primary inspection area; he was referred to secondary inspection, where officers found four packages concealed in the passenger side rear quarter panel. The counterfeit pills, which were designed to resemble M30s or oxycodone, contained fentanyl.

Defendant admitted that he imported approximately 20,000 pills containing fentanyl in his vehicle and knew that his vehicle contained fentanyl, or some other prohibited drug. He faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in custody.

Counterfeit pills are especially dangerous because users often don’t know they are ingesting fentanyl,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. “With overdoses taking a life every 8 minutes, federal law enforcement agencies are prioritizing prosecution of every individual who smuggles and distributes this deadly substance. Thanks to the vigilance of CBP, these deadly pills will not see the streets of our communities.”

Defendant is scheduled for sentencing on February 1, 2019, before United States District Court Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sherri Hobson.