arrested two California residents in connection with the discovery of a massive, 46-pound haul of synthetic opioid.
What are the details?
Andres Jesus Morales, 30, and Christine Ponce, 27 — also known as Alyssa Christine Ponce in some reporting — were both charged with four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance for sale, the Riverside District Attorney’s Office said in a Thursday statement, according to
Officials from the Riverside Police Department discovered the drug — carfentanil — as well as nearly eight pounds of cocaine and two pounds of heroin during an August raid on a Perris, California, residence.
The report noted that carfentanil — a synthetic opioid — is “typically used as a tranquilizing agent for elephants and other large mammals.”
“When administered to humans, the drug is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl,” the outlet added.
In a statement on the find, the district attorney’s office said, “If mixed with other drugs, the 21 kilos of carfentanil seized could have been enough to potentially kill more than 50 million people.”
The statement added that both Morales and Ponce pleaded not guilty to the charges. The two are being held in the Robert Presley Detention Center without bail and are set to attend a Nov. 9 court hearing.
“Since the beginning of the year, Riverside police detectives in the department’s Narcotics Unit have been investigating a suspected drug trafficking organization believed to be supplying fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin in Riverside County,” the statement added.
KTLA-TV reported that Riverside County authorities have been investigating a suspected drug trafficking ring that they believed were supplying fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, and more in the county.
The station noted that at least 11 people face charges for reportedly selling fentanyl and other opioids.
The investigation into the criminal behavior is ongoing.
Carfentanil: A drug more deadly than heroin