CHESTER COUNTY — A Mexican national living illegally in the U.S. has been arrested for drug trafficking, according to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.
Jose Uriel Arreola-Ortiz, 27, was taken into custody Wednesday while in Chester County to receive payment for a drug transaction made with a confidential police informant, according to District Attorney Tom Hogan.
He allegedly supplied the informant with a kilogram of crystal methamphetamine and a half-kilogram of fetanyl-laced heroin.
Hogan said in a press release Thursday that Arreola-Ortiz ran a drug ring out of Mexico and California, supplying drugs in bulk to southern Chester County for resale at the street level.
“As a matter of self-defense, Chester County law enforcement has been forced to play on a larger stage to prevent drug dealers from injecting their poison into our country,” said Hogan in the release announcing Arreola-Ortiz’s arrest. “There was a time when we were satisfied to pick off ounces of illegal drugs from local dealers. Now, we have the capacity and skill to interdict kilograms from international drug traffickers. We will never quit.”
According to Hogan:
- Arreola-Ortiz is part of a drug trafficking ring with ties to Mexico and California.
- In March 2019, he appeared in Chester County to collect on a drug debt for marijuana sales, where he was introduced to a confidential informant working with Chester County detectives.
- Arreola-Ortiz set up a deal to send the informant a kilogram of crystal meth for re-sale, instructing the informant to deposit money into a bank account under fake name.
- When the money was deposited, Arreola-Ortiz mailed a kilogram of methamphetamine to the informant on March 28. He later spoke to the informant to confirm the quality of the meth, and arranged for another payment into the bank account.
- Arreola-Ortiz and the informant then engaged in a series of communications in which Arreola-Ortiz offered to sell the informant meth and heroin. He had the informant set up another bank account under a second false name.
- On August 29, the informant received a half-kilogram package from Arreola-Ortiz. The package was supposed to contain heroin, but instead contained mostly fentanyl mixed with heroin. Such a shipment could have caused dozens of overdoses had it been sold in Chester County, Hogan said.
- On Sept. 11, Arreola-Ortiz traveled to Chester County to receive payment from the informant. Instead, he was met by Chester County detectives and placed under arrest.
Bail for Arreola-Ortiz was set at $1 million cash, according to Hogan. He was remanded to Chester County Prison, and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled.