FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A man from the Fresno County community of Five Points was arrested and charged after he was allegedly found with the largest amount of Fentanyl in a Michigan traffic stop to date.
Court documents from the County of Van Buren identify the man as 25-year-old Brahajan Martinez-Garcia of Five Points.
According to Michigan State Police (MSP), Martinez-Garcia was pulled over for a traffic stop because he was going slow in the left lane, the vehicle’s windshield was cracked, and the license plate was obstructed at around 9:40 a.m., on eastbound I-94 west of Paw Paw, Michigan.
State police say that the trooper noticed what was described as “several indicators of criminal activity.” During testimony on Thursday, prosecutors said that Martinez-Garcia told police he was coming from California – headed somewhere in Michigan – and then heading back soon after back to California.
According to Michigan State Police, Martinez-Garcia then gave the troopers permission to search the vehicle. That is when they allegedly found about four kilograms of fentanyl in a duffle bag. The investigation that followed also led Michigan State Police to locate another two kilograms. The Fentanyl found has a street value of about $9 million.
During his arraignment, Martinez-Garcia was formally charged with a felony count of possession of more than 1,000 grams of fentanyl with intent to deliver.
“(MSP) provided information that these controlled substances and its transport was connected to the Sinaloa cartel,” Judge Michael McKay said while discussing factors in setting bond. “They also stated that it was enough fentanyl to kill 2.5 million people, which is roughly a third of the population of the state of Michigan, which may make Mr. Garcia the most dangerous person in our jail that he was furthering that health crisis.
Martinez-Garcia was visibly upset as he explained to the judge that he did not work for the cartel and that he didn’t know what was in his car until the police told him. He also said he was afraid to go to prison believing that he would be killed because he knew they had a lot of connections.
The judge ordered Martinez-Garcia to be held in Van Buren County Jail on a $500,000 bond, saying that he was worried Martinez-Garcia was a flight risk as he entered the U.S. illegally three years ago. If Martinez-Garcia posts bond and is released, he will have an electronic tether. His next hearings were scheduled for March 22 and March 28. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.