BUFFALO, NY (WNY News Now) – A 64-year-old Miami Florida woman is facing federal charges after law enforcement seized a major amount of fentanyl pills during a traffic stop in Jamestown last week.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo announced on Tuesday at Elina Martinez was charged by criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute, and distribute, 400 grams or more of fentanyl.
Last Wednesday, Martinez was pulled over by Jamestown Police Officers after allegedly committing a number of traffic violations while traveling on North Main Street. The vehicle, prosecutors said, was rented out of Florida.
“After being stopped, the officer observed Martinez make furtive movements, so he requested that she exit the vehicle,” explained Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Violanti. “With permission, the officer searched the vehicle and discovered a suspicious powder residue in a suitcase.”
Two police K-9 dogs were brought in and each alerted to the presence of narcotics in the area of the driver’s side.
Officers allegedly found a plastic bag of pills in battery of the car.
“Following a more extensive search, officers recovered approximately 9 lbs. 13 oz. of blue pills, which field tested positive for the presence of fentanyl,” continued Violanti. “The seized blue pills labeled “m” “30,” which have an approximate value of approximately $1,300,000, are a counterfeit replica of the authentic M30 Oxycodone tablet.”
Due to the rash of fatalities attributed to fentanyl overdoses, the DEA has issued a “counterfeit pills fact sheet” attempting to warn the community regarding the dangers of using and abusing these counterfeit drugs.
The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison. Martinez was held following a detention hearing in Buffalo.