Two California men were arrested following the largest drug bust in Orange County in 16 years.
Edgar Alfonso Lamas, 36, and Carlos Raygozaparedes, 53, were leaving a Buena Park home last month when their minivan was pulled over and 821 pounds of meth, nearly 190 pounds of cocaine, and 20.5 pounds of fentanyl pills were found inside. Considering as little as two milligrams of fentanyl could be a lethal dose, the DA’s office claims these two men had enough fentanyl in their possession to kill 4.7 million people.
“Millions of unsuspecting people have the grim reaper looking over their shoulder and they have no idea how close they actually are to dying from taking a single pill,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. “Fentanyl is cheap, it’s easy to get and it is killing our children, our coworkers, and tens of thousands of innocent Americans who don’t have to die.”
The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics released data last year reporting that there were 100,000 drug overdose deaths over a 12-month period ending in April 2021, a 28.5 percent increase compared to the previous year. Opioid-related deaths saw a sharp increase from 56,064 to 75,673 in that same span, with fentanyl playing a contributing factor.
Lamas and Raygozaparedes have been charged with one count of possession of sale of a controlled substance, three counts of sale or transportation for sale of a controlled substance, and two counts of possession of sale of a controlled substance. If convicted, they could face up to 37 years.
Both men have pleaded not guilty and remain in custody with their bail set at $5 million. Their preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 7.
We don’t know how we get fentanyl off of the street, but it should be a national priority.