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Pacific Grove man charged with federal drug trafficking after 13,000 fentanyl pills found

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. (KION-TV)-- The Office of the United States Attorney said it has filed a federal criminal complaint charging a man from Pacific Grove with federal drug distribution and firearms charges.

On Feb. 15, Mario Jose Villagrana's, age 27, apartment on the 700 block of Eardley Avenue was searched and a "cache of drugs, cash, and weapons" was found in his home. Two Ar-15 style and two AK-47-style rifles, four handguns and a 30-round extended magazine were found in the suspect's home, alleges the criminal complaint filed on April 28, 2022.

READ MORE: Parolee gang member arrested for guns, cash and fentanyl pills in Pacific Grove

The complaint also says that a duffle bag with various caliber magazines and ammunition, two milling machines and a Dremel tool (two tools that are used to make firearm component parts), various gun parts, a variety of drugs and more than $20,000 dollars were also found in the apartment.

Over 13,000 fake "M30" pills laced with fentanyl were also found.

The complaint said that Villagrana is being charged with possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing fentanyl and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a max of 40 years, for the drug charges and 10 years minimum for the firearm charges, according to the complaint.

Also, Villagrana may be fined $5 million for the drug charges and a $25,000 fine for the firearm charge. A term of supervised release and forfeiture could also be asked for with any sentence given, according to the complaint.

Villagrana made his first federal court appearance on May 3 and is expected to be back in court on May 10 for a detention hearing.

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Ricardo Tovar

Assignment/ Web Manager for KION News Channel 5/46 and Telemundo 23


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