Enough opioids to kill 50 million people seized in California 2 months ago

Enough opioids to kill 50 million people seized in California

The specific substance is most notably used to tranquillise elephants

A man and a woman have been arrested after a drug bust in California led to police seizing enough opioids to kill 50 million people.

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As reported by Press-Enterprise, Andres Jesus Morales and Alyssa Christine Ponce were arrested in the city of Perris in the state's Riverside County, after supposedly being in possession of a whopping 21 kilograms of carfentanil: a powerful synthetic opioid more potent than fentanyl and used as a tranquillizing agent for elephants.

Riverside Police had been investigating a drug trafficking ring since the start of 2021, with the suspects thought to be supplying fentanyl, cocaine and heroin. As well as the significant amounts of the substance used for tranquilising large animals, authorities found "four kilos of cocaine, and one kilo of heroin".

 

In the District Attorney's official statement, it was claimed that, “If mixed in with other drugs, the 21 (kilograms) of carfentanil seized could have been enough to potentially kill more than 50 million people".

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They were arrested on September 14th, having been charged with multiple felonies; the drugs bust is believed to be the largest seizure of the drug in Riverside County history. They were arraigned this past Thursday, both pleading not guilty, and are now are both being held without bail until their next court date on November 9th.

According to sources, "Carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)" and can be lethal as little as 2 milligrams can be lethal.

Busts like this are particularly significant given the ongoing opioid crisis in America and across the globe. In 2019 alone, nearly 50,000 people died from opioid-related overdoses, with painkillers, heroin and fentanyl among the most rife.

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