A Malaga resident accused of trafficking fentanyl into the Wenatchee valley will now be facing federal charges in the Eastern District Court of Washington in Spokane.

39-year-old Ricardo Castro-Vazquez has been federally charged with attempted distribution of Fentanyl.

The investigation began when authorities searched Castro-Vazquez during a traffic stop back in January, where investigators found an ⅛ ounce of methamphetamine, 81 fentanyl pills, and a firearm in the Toyota Camry he was driving.

Columbia River Drug Task Force detectives began working with Homeland Security in May of 2022, after investigators were told that Castro-Vazquez may be involved in trafficking fentanyl and methamphetamine in the valley.

In that same month, the Moses Lake Street Crimes Unit arrested someone traveling through George, who was trafficking 100 fentanyl pills to a client on behalf of Castro-Vazquez. 

According to the federal case affidavit, investigators believe Castro-Vazquez was in California at the time. He was subsequently arrested on June 24, 2022.

In Chelan County Superior Court, Castro Vazquez was previously charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of a firearm in the first-degree.

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However, the county’s case was dismissed without prejudice (meaning the case could come back to court) in order for the federal case to continue.

Castro-Vazquez is scheduled to be transferred to Spokane on Feb. 23, and is currently awaiting trial.

He is facing up to 20 years in prison.

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