Powell Woman Facing State And Federal Charges In Delivery Of 10,000 Fentanyl Pills

A Powell woman implicated in a 10,000-pill fentanyl mail delivery worth about $600,000 now faces federal as well as state drug charges. She faces up to 39 years in prison.

Clair McFarland

March 31, 20235 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

By Clair McFarland, State Courts And Crime Reporter  

A Powell woman implicated in a 10,000-pill fentanyl mail delivery worth about $600,000 now faces federal as well as state drug charges, according to court documents.  If convicted on all counts in both jurisdictions she faces a possible total of 39 years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney for Wyoming on Thursday charged Victoria Zupko, born 1996, with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine, and using a communication facility to facilitate a felony drug offense. The two charges together are punishable by up to 24 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.  

She also faces three child endangerment charges in state court – punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $5,000 in fines altogether – for allegedly exposing three children 9 and younger to meth and fentanyl.   

According to an evidentiary affidavit by Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) special agent Jonathan Shane Reece, authorities had identified Zupko of being a fentanyl dealer.   

Reece asked the U.S. Postal Inspection Services for help with the ongoing drug investigation.   

On March 14 a Postal Inspection Services inspector told Reece of a “suspicious parcel” headed to Zupko’s home via priority express mail, the affidavit said. 

Authorities intercepted the parcel and presented it to the K-9 detection dog “Banjo,” whom the affidavit said is trained to detect scents of marijuana, cocaine, meth and heroin.  Banjo indicated that illegal drugs were in the package.   

Agents opened it and discovered expanding foam around a black paint can, and a pound of meth and about 10,000 fentanyl-laced counterfeit oxycodone pills inside the can, the affidavit alleges.   

The Watch Party  

Police watched Zupko’s home as they let an agent deliver the package – now empty of drugs – to her home on March 21.   

Before 8 a.m. that morning agents watched a woman believed to be Zupko’s mother arrive and pick up her school-aged children.   

Brianna Boot, Zupko’s significant other, also left home around this time.   

Police believed Zupko’s 4-year-old still was in the home with her, the affidavit said.   

Crying Preschooler  

An agent delivered the package to Zupko about 40 minutes after noon, the document says, adding that it now contained an electronic tracking device.   

Five minutes later DCI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Drug Enforcement Agency and Powell Police Department agents arrived at the home to execute a search warrant.  

Reece knocked at the door, identifying himself as law enforcement.   

No one answered. He opened the door, the affidavit said, and walked inside to find Zupko sitting on the couch.   

In the affidavit he recalls commanding her loudly to stay where she was and show her hands.  The 4-year-old in the kitchen area started crying.  Agents put the girl in her mother’s arms to console her, the affidavit said.   

The Hunt  

Agents allege that they found a partially consumed, fentanyl-laced oxycodone pill lying at the floor at Zupko’s feet, and drug paraphernalia lying on a small table in the living room.   

DCI special agent Juliet Fish searched Zupko’s person and found, the affidavit alleges, between seven and eight loose fentanyl-laced pills in her left pants pocket, along with meth and drug paraphernalia.   

Department of Family Services personnel arrived “immediately,” the document said and placed the 4-year-old into protective custody.  

As the search continued, agents reportedly found numerous spent or saved pill foils with residue on them, often “well within reach of small children,” the affidavit said. 

They found two pills lying on the kitchen floor, the affidavit alleges, and about 70 fentanyl-laced counterfeit oxycodone pills in the master bedroom in an unsecured eyeglass container on a small table less than two feet off the ground.   

Because, Return Addresses  

The federal affidavit gives some slight background as to how police came to suspect Zupko of dealing drugs.   

USPS business records showed her Powell address as receiving parcels from “known drug source areas” in Arizona and California, the affidavit says.   

A postal service inspector learned March 15 – the day after Banjo alerted on the package – that Zuko had contacted the supervisor of mail distribution in Casper asking about the package.   

Confession, Allegedly  

DCI agents mirandized Zupko and interviewed her after her arrest, and she admitted to dealing the fake oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl within Park County and other parts of Wyoming, the state affidavit alleges.  

The federal affidavit says that Zupko admitted to receiving two previous parcels, one of which contained nearly 8,000 fentanyl pills.   

She was splitting those with other people and was expecting between 2,000 and 2,500 of her own, the document says, adding that she said she paid someone $2,000 through CashApp and was expected to pay another $500 after the most recent parcel arrived.   

She said she sold the pills for $60 apiece and had made over $100,000 the previous year selling fentanyl pills, according to the federal affidavit.   

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter