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September 8, 2023Sells, AZ, United StatesNarcotics

HSI Sells, multiagency investigation results in distribution of fentanyl and meth charges for 7 on Tohono O'odham Nation

SELLS, Ariz. — Seven Southern Arizonans were indicted in federal court during the last week of August on charges related to distributing hard narcotics. The indictments mark the conclusion of a community impact initiative on the Tohono O’odham Nation that started in August 2022 and involved enforcement action on 27 methamphetamine or fentanyl transactions from the Sells and Covered Wells communities. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), spearheaded by the Shadow Wolves, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs investigated these cases with assistance from the FBI and the Tohono O’odham Police Department.

Nina Buendia, Patricia Garcia, Kayloni Guerra, Ernesto Martin, Michael Cory Norris and Mount Vernon Robinson of Sells and Travis Lopez of Covered Wells were among those indicted.

In addition to interdicting hand-to-hand drug sales, agents executed multiple residential search warrants and recovered an additional 157 grams of methamphetamine, 695 grams of fentanyl, two handguns, three rifle magazines, 264 rounds of ammunition, and U.S. currency. Lopez, who is a prohibited possessor, was also indicted on felon in possession of a firearm charges.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona in Tucson is prosecuting the case.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.