Officials Probe Deputy’s Alleged Cartel Link

( – On Sept. 25, a California sheriff’s deputy was charged with one count of felony possession of fentanyl for sale as well as one count of transporting narcotics after he was found to have over 100 pounds of the drug in his vehicle.

Jorge Oceguera-Rocha, 25, was also charged with being in possession of a firearm during a drug offense. During his court appearance in Banning, California, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department learned Orceguera-Rocha was transporting drugs into the county while investigating a drug ring. An investigation into Orceguera-Rocha’s actions was opened and his phone calls were intercepted.

In an affidavit written by investigator Joshua Ricard, authorities learned he

was planning to travel to Victorville, California, to an “identified narcotic stash location.”

According to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the fentanyl was discovered after a K-9 alerted to the presence of drugs. The loaded gun was also located during the traffic stop. According to the affidavit, the amount of fentanyl in his possession was enough to kill 2 million people.

A four-year veteran of law enforcement, he resigned from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department after being pulled over on Sept. 17. He is not believed to have been dealing drugs while on duty or when he previously worked transportation for the Riverside County jail system. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department hired Orceguera-Rocha in April 2019 and he was assigned to the Smith Correctional Facility located in Banning.

Prosecutors alleged Oceguera-Rocha could have ties to a Mexican drug cartel. Due to his potential ties to a Mexican drug cartel, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department felt he could be a flight risk and requested his bail be increased to $5 million. Oceguera-Rocha is being held at the John Benoit Detention Center. His bail will be reconsidered by a judge at his next court appearance, on Oct. 31.

Oceguera-Rocha could face 10 years in jail if convicted.

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