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KIRO 7 Seattle

Sentenced: Marysville man who mixed animal tranquilizer with fentanyl made pills in his garage

By Colleen West,


A Marysville man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday in connection with manufacturing fentanyl pills — some of them laced with an animal tranquilizer — in a rental home’s garage .

Jose Eduardo Garnica, 34, pleaded guilty in March to three federal felonies.

At his sentencing hearing, the judge said Garnica had so much fentanyl — 25 kilos — that a hazmat team had to be called, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington.

Court records say Garnica caught the attention of law enforcement when Border Protection officers in Los Angeles found a package shipped from China to Garnica’s address. It contained a pill press that would manufacture pills that had the markings of oxycodone.

“Mr. Garnica was manufacturing fentanyl pills with deadly powders that could make each pill lethal.  His activities contaminated the home he rented, and he had 27 guns — many of them high-powered assault weapons — adding to the danger. This is a significant prison sentence, but appropriate due to the risk he posed to our community,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said.

In addition to the pill press and powered fentanyl found in the garage, authorities also seized 50,000 rounds of ammunition and kilo-sized bricks of fentanyl pills that appeared to have been smuggled from Mexico.

According to officials, some of the pills Garnica was making contained Xylazine — a sedative used by veterinarians that’s been linked to deaths in humans. In some cases, those injected with the drug had tissue damage that led to amputation.

Investigators said fentanyl residue from Garnica’s manufacturing operation spread through the house he was renting.

Garnica has agreed to pay more than $71,000 to the homeowner.

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