JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On the heels of a nationwide warning from the Drug Enforcement Administration about fentanyl-related mass-overdose deaths, News4JAX has learend that police in Southern California seized more than 20 pounds of the drug during a bust in Santa Ana.
Prosecutors are saying it’s the largest drug bust in Orange County in 16 years.
According to authorities, that much fentanyl is enough to potentially kill 4.7 million people — more than the combined city populations of Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Tampa. In addition, authorities said they found nearly 200 pounds of cocaine and more than 800 pounds of meth..
It takes just 2 milligrams of fentanyl to be a lethal dose.
Just weeks before the seizure, DEA agents in California seized 3 kilos of fentanyl powder. Just days ago in Phoenix, federal agents seized 150,000 fentanyl pills along with a kilo of fentanyl powder.
The seizures of these dangerous and deadly narcotics come at a time when local law enforcement offices are being warned by the DEA about nationwide cases of mass fentanyl overdoses. Jacksonville DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Mike Dubet says there has been a recent uptick in mass overdoses in recent months.
“What we’ve seen in about seven occasions throughout the United States, including Florida, is multiple people overdosing in close proximity.”
Dubet says Mexican drug cartels are flooding the U.S. with fentanyl to keep up with the demand by drug users as well as to get potentially new customers.
“Last year, we had a record year of fentanyl seizures. I believe it was around 15,000 pounds,” Dubet said. “This year in the first three months, we’re on pace to top that.”
In December of last year, agents in Arizona seized a local record amount of fentanyl in one bust drug bust – a whopping 1.7 million fentanyl pills. And last year in Los Angeles, more than 3 million fentanyl pills were seized for the entire year. A lot of these drugs eventually make their way to the East Coast and even to the streets of Jacksonville.
While record amounts of fentanyl are being seized by authorities, the DEA says a lot goes undetected and eventually makes it way here to Florida.