Man accused of selling fentanyl-laced drugs to informant in Chester County

CHESTER COUNTY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A man with ties to a drug-trafficking organization in Mexico and California was arrested in Chester County on Wednesday, according to the Chester County District Attorney's office.

Jose Uriel Arreola-Ortiz, 27, who was in the U.S. illegally and ran a drug operation out of Mexico and California, is accused of supplying drugs in bulk to southern Chester County for re-sale at street level, officials said.

In March, Arreola-Ortiz was introduced to a confidential informant working with Chester County detectives when he set up a deal to send a kilogram of methamphetamine for resale, officials said. He also allegedly instructed the informant to deposit money into a bank account under a false name.

Once the money was deposited, Arreola-Ortiz mailed the drugs and continued to communicate with the informant, officials said.

In August, the informant received a half-kilogram package from Arreola-Ortiz, which was supposed to contain heroin. Instead, officials said, it contained mostly fentanyl, mixed with heroin.

"Such a shipment could have caused dozens of overdose deaths if sold to users in Chester County," officials said in a news release.

On Wednesday, Arreola-Ortiz traveled to Chester County to receive payment from the informant, but was met by multiple detectives and was arrested on drug trafficking charges, according to the DA's office.

Arreola-Ortiz is now being held in the Chester County Prison under a $1 million cash bond.

"Crystal meth and fentanyl-laced heroin are the evil twins of current street drugs," said District Attorney Tom Hogan. "However, as local drug dealers and now international drug traffickers are learning, they better stay out of Chester County."
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