Two Southern California residents were charged in a massive drug bust that resulted in authorities seizingmore than 46 pounds of an extremely lethal synthetic opioid.
Andres Jesus Morales, 30, and Christine Ponce, 27, have been hit with four felony counts each of possession of a controlled substance for sale, USA Today reports. That amount of carfentanil is extremely lethal. “
“If mixed in with other drugs, the 21 kilos of carfentanil seized could have been enough to potentially kill more than 50 million people,” the Riverside District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Two people have been charged in what likely is the largest seizure of carfentanil in Riv Co. If mixed w/other drugs, the 21 kilos seized as part of an investigation by @RiversidePolice, had the potential to kill at least 50 million people. News release: https://t.co/ccTY8NwxcS pic.twitter.com/JSdxjqLgnm
— Riverside County DA's Office (@RivCoDA) September 23, 2021
The Riverside Police Department raided the presumed couple’s home in Perris, California on Aug. 17, where they found 46.2 pounds of carfentanil, 8.8 pounds of cocaine, and 2.2 pounds of heroin. Though neither Morales nor Ponce was home, authorities linked the drugs to them. The seizure was part of a lengthy investigation into an alleged drug ring in Riverside County.
The synthetic opioid is usually used as a tranquilizer for large mammals such as elephants. The dosage is extremely high for humans, with it being 10,000 times more effective than morphine and 100 times more than fentanyl, which is already severely deadly for humans.
Morales and Ponce pleaded not guilty to their charges and are currently in prison without bail. Their next court date is Nov. 9.
Authorities also made another big drug bust on Sept. 14 in Perris, where 35.2 pounds of cocaine was found and two alleged dealers were arrested.
They are going away for some years.