ST. CHARLES • Two men from St. Charles were charged with a federal drug offense Thursday after they were caught with two kilograms of the powerful painkiller fentanyl, or enough for 1.5 million doses, prosecutors said.
The U.S. Attorney's office on Thursday charged Ruben Lopez, 27, and Jonathen Andrew Aguilar, 31, with possession with the intent to distribute 400 or more grams of fentanyl, which carries a minimum 10-year prison term.
Aguilar's name is spelled Jonathan in jail records.
The first kilo was found Wednesday during the interception and search of a Priority Mail package wrapped in clothing and plastic wrap, charging documents say. Investigators then got a search warrant for the package's destination, the 2000 block of Avignon Drive, and watched as the package, now containing a “sham substance,” was delivered.
Lopez took the package inside, and then investigators entered, finding a handgun, two pill presses and another Priority Mail package from Aug. 30, charging documents say.
A second search, of an apartment in the 400 block of Molina Way, found another kilo of fentanyl and $19,000 in cash, documents say.
The drugs' street value is roughly $130,000, investigators said.
William J. Callahan, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's St. Louis office, said “more than 1.5 million potentially lethal doses of poison,” had been kept off the streets, in a statement announcing the charges.
Investigators had been watching Aguilar, and arrested him after he flew to St. Louis from California Wednesday, charging documents say.
The case also involved the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the St. Charles County Police Department, the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force, St. Charles County prosecutors and the St. Peters Police Department, prosecutors said.