Skip to Content

Woman arrested in the Coachella Valley with nearly $2M worth of fentanyl pills in her vehicle

A U.S. citizen living in Mexico was arrested after a stop on Interstate 10 in the Coachella Valley after allegedly being found with nearly $2 million worth of fentanyl pills in her vehicle.

Adriana Galindo, 34, of San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico, was arrested Tuesday in Indio, according to the Department of Justice. She is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

The arrest happened when Border Patrol agents stopped a 2015 black Chevrolet Malibu being driven by Galindo, who was accompanied by her juvenile son. She allegedly told agents they were driving to Los Angeles to purchase clothing for a retail store in Mexico and were planning to return home later that day.

"Galindo consented to a search of the car, and a trained narcotics K-9 conducted a free-air sniff of the vehicle and alerted fellow law enforcement to the presence of narcotics odor,'' the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement. "An initial search of the vehicle yielded a single blue pill of suspected fentanyl. ... After seizing the vehicle for further search, law enforcement seized approximately 93.3 pounds of fentanyl pills in a non-factory compartment located under the car's front seats."

Agents then arrested Galindo. Her son was released to the custody of a relative who lives in California.

Galindo is expected to make her initial appearance Thursday afternoon in United States District Court in Riverside. If convicted, Galindo would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The investigation is being handled by the Drug Enforcement Administration and United States Border Patrol. Assistant United States Attorney Danbee C. Kim of the General Crimes Section is prosecuting this case.

Preliminary data released earlier this year by the Riverside County Department of Public Health showed there were 388 confirmed fentanyl-related fatalities countywide in 2023, a 23% decline from 2022, when there were 503.   

Fentanyl is manufactured in overseas labs, principally in China, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which says the synthetic opioid is smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border by cartels.

The drug is 80-100 times more potent than morphine and can be mixed into any number of street narcotics and prescription drugs, without a user knowing what he or she is consuming. Ingestion of only two milligrams can be fatal.

Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for Americans between 18 and 45 years old.

News Channel 3 has repeatedly gone in-depth on the opioid and fentanyl crisis and how it's affecting our valley.

Visit Our 'Fentanyl Crisis' Section For More Coverage

Earlier this year, News Channel 3 anchor Karen Devine hosted the town hall with professionals in healthcare, education, and law enforcement who shared the work they’ve been doing to ‘Combat the Fentanyl Crisis’ throughout the Coachella Valley. 

If you or someone you know has an addiction problem and is looking for some help, we've included some information on local resources for you. 

RECOVER - Online addiction treatment for alcohol and opioid use

Article Topic Follows: Fentanyl Crisis

Jump to comments ↓

Jesus Reyes


News Channel 3 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content