EVELETH—A 50-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman were charged with multiple drug crimes Monday after allegedly being found with about one pound of suspected methamphetamine and 170 suspected “M30’’ fentanyl pills, a St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office news release said.
An investigation by the Lake Superior Violent Offender Task Force found evidence that both suspects were selling and distributing controlled substances from their Eveleth residence in the 600 block of Douglas Avenue.
Digital scales and other evidence indicating illicit drug distribution was also seized from the residence, the news release said.
Juan Pedro Alapisco-Ochoa, 50, of Mexico was charged with first-degree sales of methamphetamine, while Rachel Michelle Lofgren, 52, of Eveleth was charged with conspiracy to first- and second-degree sales of a controlled substance.
“During the investigation it was discovered that Lofgren and Alapisco-Ochoa were receiving large quantities of methamphetamine in the mail from the Southern United States.’’
The news release went on to say:
“Law enforcement officers nationwide are dealing with millions of fraudulent ‘M30’ pills that are currently being pressed in Mexico and then smuggled into the United States. These counterfeit pills are often blue in color and stamped with ‘M30’ markings consistent with oxycodone, however, subsequent analysis reveals that the pills actually contain fentanyl; an extremely dangerous synthetic drug that is fatal in very small doses.
“Both Alapisco-Ochoa and Lofgren were arrested without incident following the investigation. At the time of his arrest, Alapisco-Ochoa provided a false name and identification information to investigators and jail staff. Fingerprint analysis then revealed that Alapisco-Ochoa was currently in the United States illegally and subject to deportation. Officials with the Department of Homeland Security verified that Alapisco-Ochoa had previously been deported numerous times in the past.
“This investigation highlights the fact that that our Iron Range communities are not immune to the current nationwide issues relating to illegal immigration and the massive influx of methamphetamine and fentanyl coming across our southern border.
“The LSVOTF would like to take this opportunity to remind the general public that the greatest public safety resource we have is each other. We encourage members of the community to get to know their neighbors and the officers that serve your community. If you see suspicious or illegal drug activity, don’t hesitate to share that information with your local law enforcement agency. If you are struggling with addiction yourself, please reach out for help. The Arrowhead Regional Crisis Line is 844-772-4724.’’
The United States Postal Inspectors Office, the Department of Homeland Security, the Eveleth Police Department, and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation.
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