A man is facing federal charges after admitting to DEA agents that he transported heroin and fentanyl from St. Louis with intent to distribute in the Springfield region, according to federal court records.
In an affidavit from a DEA special agent, authorities began investigating Aaron J. Martin, 36, in August for allegedly distributing substances in southwest Missouri. On Oct. 14, DEA agents surveilled Martin driving a van, pulled him over and arrested him.
Before searching Martin, agents asked if he had anything that could harm them. He said he had syringes, but later clarified that they were inside his vehicle. A woman was in the passenger seat of the vehicle. Agents asked her to exit the van and detained her.
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Inside Martin’s van, agents say they found syringes in the cupholder. During a probable cause search, agents say they also found a large baggie holding 223 capsules with white powder inside, a digital scale, drug ledger and other drug paraphernalia items, according to the affidavit.
After agreeing to provide a post-Miranda rights interview with investigators, Martin admitted to making trips to St. Louis in order to pick up “opiates” and bringing them back to Springfield to distribute, documents say.
The passenger told agents that she used fentanyl daily and Martin was her source for it. She said that she traveled with Martin to St. Louis Oct. 13 and tested the fentanyl Martin obtained from his supplier. The passenger told agents that she used some of the drugs that trip and believed the capsules contained fentanyl.
Martin is facing three counts of intentionally conspiring to distribute more than 40 grams of a mixture containing fentanyl and heroin, according to federal court documents. If convicted, Martin faces up to 40 years in prison.
Sara Karnes is a breaking news reporter with the Springfield News-Leader. Got a story to tell? Email her at email@example.com.