RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. – A suspected drug trafficker who was employed as a correctional deputy with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at the time of his arrest was found transporting more than 100 pounds of fentanyl while armed, according to a report.
Jorge Oceguera-Rocha, 25, of Banning, faces a series of felony charges after he was pulled over in Calimesa on Sept. 17, and found to be in possession of more than 100 pounds of fentanyl and a gun, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release, KTLA reported.
Reports from earlier this month indicated Oceguera-Rocha was arrested with 44 pounds of an unspecified narcotic, but that information is now updated.
At the time of his Sept. 17 arrest, Oceguera-Rocha was employed with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department as a jail deputy assigned to the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility. He immediately resigned in lieu of termination.
According to sheriff’s investigators, Oceguera-Rocha had been under investigation for playing “a pivotal role of trafficking large quantities of narcotics within Riverside County while off duty.”
On Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Department categorized the narcotics seized from the defendant as fentanyl pills, of which Oceguera-Rocha had 104 pounds.
Investigators sought federal charges, but the case will remain in state court in Riverside County since the U.S. Attorney’s office declined.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office charged Oceguera-Rocha with possession of narcotics, transportation with the intent to distribute narcotics, weight enhancements for the narcotics and possession of a firearm while in possession of narcotics.
He was booked at the the John Benoit Detention Center and held on $5 million bail, according to KTLA.
The Sheriff’s Department noted the large bail figure was “based on the weight amount, danger to the public and potential for Oceguera-Rocha to flee from prosecution.”
The DA’s office said the defendant has an exposure of up to 10 years in prison if he’s convicted on all charges.
Oceguera-Rocha pleaded not guilty. His next court date is scheduled for Oct. 31.