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NORFOLK, Va. – An investigation led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Norfolk landed an Idaho man in federal prison for more than 11 years. Joel A. Duran, 53, was sentenced Oct. 20 to 135 months confinement for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine.
According to the HSI investigation, from at least November 2021 through February 2022, Duran transported massive quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine from California to several locations in the United States, including Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and the Hampton Roads region in Virginia.
Over three cross-county trips, Duran possessed 27.9 kilograms of fentanyl – enough to potentially cause the fatal overdose of 14 million people – as well as 192 kilograms of methamphetamine.
“HSI will continue to focus on keeping illegal drugs off U.S. streets and dismantling the criminal organizations behind such activity,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Derek W. Gordon, HSI Washington, D.C. “This lengthy sentence is a great example of what can be accomplished when federal and local law enforcement agencies work in collaboration. HSI, along with our law-enforcement partners, will continue our collaborative efforts to arrest and disrupt illegal activities like this one to keep our communities safe from the harmful effects of illicit drugs.”
HSI Norfolk led the investigation into Duran with significant assistance from the Virginia Beach Police Department.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence to make neighborhoods safer. On May 26, 2021, the Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities; supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place; and setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring results.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
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