NORFOLK, Va. (WRIC) — A man who pleaded guilty to transporting large quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine was sentenced to over 11 years in prison.
Joel Duran, 53, of Idaho, was sentenced on Thursday, Oct. 20, to 135 months in prison for possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) release entitled, “Drug Trafficker Sentenced for Possessing Enough Fentanyl to Kill Millions” reads.
Duran reportedly transported massive quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine from California to several locations across the United States, including Hampton Roads, Virginia.
“Over three cross-county trips, Duran possessed 27.9 kilograms of fentanyl— enough to potentially cause the fatal overdose of 14 million people— and 192 kilograms of methamphetamine,” the DOJ release reads.
According to court documents, Virginia Beach Police officers received information that Duran was transporting narcotics on Feb. 5, 2022.
Officers later identified Duran driving a gray Jeep crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. His ex-wife was a passenger in the vehicle. Police said they observed Duran make multiple traffic violations before eventually parking his vehicle at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
Once Duran was parked, officers surrounded his vehicle and detained him without incident. A police K-9 unit conducted a search and identified the presence of narcotics, according to court documents. Approximately 27.5 pounds of fentanyl, 10 pounds of methamphetamine, $6,000 in United States Currency and three cell phones were found.
According to court documents, Duran then waived his Miranda Rights and admitted to officers that he had a tractor-trailer in Dupont, Pennsylvania with additional narcotics. A search of the trailer resulted in another 44 pounds of fentanyl and 15 pounds of methamphetamine being recovered.
Among other things, Duran admitted to delivering narcotics on two previous occasions in November 2021 and December 2021.
Duran agreed to a guilty plea agreement on June 21, 2022.