FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – More than anything, the unused dryer sheets tipped them off.
When agents with the DEA went through the trash outside a home on Tumbleweed Boulevard in northern Fort Wayne one morning last September, they found empty cigarillo packs, a large amount of unused tobacco, a green plant stem which tested positive for marijuana and 14 unused dryer sheets.
Most of that pointed to someone replacing the tobacco in the cigarillos with marijuana, one agent wrote in U.S. Court District Court documents. And while dryer sheets mask the smell of narcotics, he added that it was not common for those who use marijuana on a personal level to have so many.
Inside the house, agents found roughly one pound of fentanyl pills and 100 grams of heroin wrapped in plastic, petroleum jelly and dryer sheets along with guns, cash and a drug ledger.
This week, a 20-year-old Tucson, Arizona man received a 15-year-prison sentence as part of that investigation, according to federal prosecutors based in Fort Wayne.
After his arrest, Eduardo A. Arguelles, Jr., eventually pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, fentanyl and heroin as well as maintaining a drug-involved premises and possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
It’s not clear how long agents were watching Arguelles before they decided to raid his trash, but they were able to obtain a search warrant for the house on Tumbleweed Boulevard shortly thereafter, according to court documents.
They found 105 grams of heroin and 435 grams of fentanyl wrapped up and stashed inside the fireplace, and then more than $3,700 in cash, a ledger with names as well as a powder substance Arguelles told them he used for cutting the drugs, court documents said.
Agents also found paperwork for a storage unit inside the home. Inside that storage unit, at a local facility, they found a safe that contained five bricks of cocaine weighing more than a total of 13 pounds – or six kilograms.
At the end of his sentencing, Arguelles will serve five years of supervised release.