Over the past two weeks, the Riverside County Gang Impact Team (GIT) has seized thousands of pills containing fentanyl as well as several kilograms of the potentially deadly drug in powder form.
The fentanyl seizures happened during three separate investigations conducted by GIT across Riverside County.
During the investigations, GIT seized an estimated 40,000 M-30 pills containing fentanyl, five kilos of powdered fentanyl, and three firearms. The estimated street value of the seized fentanyl is more than $1.5 million.
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“Law enforcement agencies across the United States are finding fentanyl in nearly all illegal drugs. Hundreds of people are dying every year in Riverside County due to fentanyl poisoning. Victims, including young people, are illegally obtaining pills they believe are oxycodone or Percocet but instead contain fentanyl,” the district attorney’s office said.
“It only takes two milligrams of fentanyl to potentially be a fatal dose and a teaspoon contains 5,000 milligrams,” it added.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people, according to the DEA, which says that 40% of pills containing fentanyl have a lethal dose.
The Giles County Sheriff’s Department in Tennessee recently warned the public not to pick up folded dollar bills because they could contain fentanyl after two incidents of “great concern to public safety.”