One man who had been cooperating with agents of the DEA in the wake of being arrested by local law enforcement caught him smuggling enough fentanyl to kill 25 million people has recently managed to get away from federal officials and is now being labeled as a fugitive.
As reported by The Denver Gazette, back in July a state trooper out of Colorado managed to stop 27-year-old David Maldonado with a simple traffic stop just to the west of Denver proper after seeing him attempting to weave dangerously through traffic. As stated by the court documents, during the traffic stop the troop discovered well over 114 pounds of fentanyl powder stashed inside 48 bags stashed inside a pair of trapdoors hidden under the floorboards of the car.
In the wake of the arrest, Maldonado agreed to continue with his delivery of the drugs out of California to his destination of South Bend, Indiana, all with a tracking device hidden stashed inside of the car in cooperation with agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in order to lead authorities to higher grade traffickers much higher up in the criminal network. However, the very next day Maldonado was able to give the federal authorities controlled delivery by getting rid of the hidden tracking device from the vehicle he was in, reported NBC News.
Despite the fact that officials within the DEA refused to issue a comment about the operation, one spokesperson did inform NBC news that the massive load of 114 pounds of fentanyl has still stayed in the possession of law enforcement officials.
The spokesperson stated that the agency is “relentlessly pursuing the individuals that were involved in the trafficking of the seized fentanyl and will continue to do so.”
Despite the statements, or lack thereof from the DEA, Colorado State Patrol did officially confirm the escape of Maldonado from federal surveillance.
“DEA was working with us, and they made a deal with the driver,” explained Master Trooper Gary Cutler, reported NBC. “He ran on them after they worked the case, and that was their debacle.”
One John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor and former DEA consultant, Maria Haberfeld, stated to NBC that officials should have obviously known to make use of additional surveillance on a possible cooperator who had not been properly vetted.
“This is a fiasco for the DEA,” exclaimed Haberfield.
An NBC News national security contributor and former FBI assistant director, Frank Figliuzzi, stated to NBC that a series of internal investigations are most likely beeing carried out by the federal agents.
“We’ve got a record amount of fentanyl involved here, in fact, enough fentanyl to kill everyone in the state of Colorado,” stated Figliuzzi. “The individual who was delivering that amount of fentanyl is now in the wind. And it looks like there are no other bad guys in custody, as far as we know, so that is a large-scale failure.”
It has been expressed by the U.S. Marshals that its Colorado Violent Offender Task Force is currently searching for Maldonado, who is also wanted for a pair of felony charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance of more than 225 grams and for introducing the previously mentioned substance into Colorado.