Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Distracted Driving Stop Results in Fort Bragg Fentanyl Bust 

220 fake oxycodone pills known as “M30s”, 13 grams of suspected powdered fentanyl, Xanax, cannabis, digital scales, and over $12,000 confiscated by FBPD [Image provided by FBPD]

A routine traffic stop for cell phone use resulted in Fort Bragg Police officers discovering fentanyl in both pill and powder form and over $12,000 in the possession of an alleged street dealer. 

Around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 22, 2022, 21-year-old Jonathan Martinez was seen using his cell phone while driving. Upon initial contact, a Fort Bragg Police Department officer spotted a pound of cannabis in plain view. The officer located oxycodone pills and around $300 while searching the vehicle. The driver was found to have been released from jail on his own recognizance due to a previous sale of cannabis charge.

Seeking more evidence of narcotic sales, FBPD procured a search warrant for Martinez’s home. With the assistance of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement located 220 fake oxycodone pills known as “M30s”, 13 grams of suspected powdered fentanyl, Xanax, digital scales, and over $12,000.

Jonathan Martinez [Image from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Booking Logs]

Martinez was booked on several charges including sales/transportation of a controlled substance, sales/transportation of cannabis, violation of a court order, and operating a cell phone while driving.

Fort Bragg Police Chief Neil Cervenka told us “M30s” are meant to appear as standard oxycodone pills but fentanyl is used as the intoxicant. The fentanyl powder officers located is often used to mix with other drugs increasing their perceived potency, Chief Cervenka explained.

Before becoming Police Chief, Cervenka served in the Turlock Police Department for 22 years. When comparing the impact of fentanyl on the North Coast to his previous beat, Chief Cervenka was concerned that fewer emergency personnel and greater geographic distances could exacerbate the danger of fentanyl on the North Coast. 

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Regardless of region, Chief Cervenka warned the public that “fentanyl is everywhere” and this weekend’s Fort Bragg bust demonstrates it is in the community. He said the drug is being run up and down Highway 1 and even used by high school students. Parents of teenagers should have “open and honest conversations” about the drug and the dangers it presents. To the greater Fort Bragg community, Chief Cervenka’s message was simple: “Be careful.”

It must be stated that the charges described have not been proven in a court of law. In accordance with the legal principle of the presumption of innocence, any individual described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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  1. I see the bigger problem in the lack of awareness involving the use of fentanyl. It appears to be very popular specifically among young people. The extreme risk associated with its use is not widely known or understood. Parents must educate their children. If people were not buying the dealer would be out of a job.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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