California man charged after receiving shipment of suspected fentanyl in Cleveland’s west side

CLEVELAND – A California man was charged after receiving a shipment of suspected fentanyl at a residence in Cleveland’s west side.

A Cuyahoga County Deputy Sheriff seized a parcel containing one kilogram of fentanyl on Friday in Middleburg Heights, according to the Department of Justice.

Officials then contacted Homeland Security agents to do a controlled delivery of the package, which was addressed to a residence in the 5400 block of Tillman Avenue in Cleveland.

Alan Gabriel Barba-Sanchez, 30, of San Diego, California, is accused of picking the package up off of the front porch and carrying it into the residence.  This reportedly happened about an hour after agents delivered it.

Barba-Sanchez left the residence approximately 13 minutes after receiving the package, according to authorities, and continued to walk south on West 54th Street, where he was then arrested.

Officials say Barba-Sanchez was carrying three iPhones, approximately $2,000 in cash and a key to a downtown hotel when he was arrested.

Barba-Sanchez was charged in federal court Tuesday with one count of attempted possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.

This case is still under investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“When you look at the streets and neighborhoods of this district, fentanyl has had the same effect as a weapon of mass destruction. This seizure has already saved lives in Northeast Ohio, and law enforcement will continue prosecuting those who traffic in deadly narcotics while working with other partners to make help available for people who want it,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a press release.

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