Authorities seize nearly $20 million in fentanyl pills in historic bust
Photo: seized massive amount of fentanyl
INGLEWOOD – A federal search warrant executed on July 5, 2022 for an Inglewood residence delivered an historic bust in the seizure of approximately 1 million fake pills containing fentanyl.
Intended for retail distribution, the estimated street value of the seized fake pills ranges between $15 to $20 million dollars.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Los Angeles Field Division announced the search and seizure on July 14, 2022 – which hit a record-breaking level in California. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Group 48’s massive bust is the largest seizure of fentanyl pills DEA
has made in California.
As a comparison – “In 2021, the DEA offices in the greater Los Angeles area seized over 3 million fentanyl pills, which was nearly a three-fold increase from the previous year,” said William Bodner, Drug Enforcement Administration, Special Agent in Charge Los Angeles. “In the first four
months of 2022, DEA Los Angeles have seized approximately 1.5 million fentanyl pills, which is a 64% increase over the same period last year.”
The latest drug-trafficking thwart involving HIDTA 48, along with the DEA New York Division Tactical Diversion Squad and Hawthorne Police Department, commenced their investigation starting in May 2022 – of “a Los Angeles-area drug trafficking organization believed to be linked
to the Sinaloa Cartel,”said Special Agent in Charge L.A. Bodner. During the investigation, DEA agents identified Southern California narcotic couriers and stash house managers who were responsible for distributing narcotics to other drug distributors in the area.”
The warning could not be more dire: “This massive seizure disrupted the flow of dangerous amounts of fentanyl into our streets and probably saved many lives,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner. “The deceptive marketing coupled with the ease of accessibility makes these small and seemingly innocuous pills a significant threat to the health and safety of all our communities. A staggering number of teens and young adults are unaware that they are ingesting fentanyl in these fake pills and are being poisoned.”
It was also revealed that the greater Los Angeles area is “a major transshipment hub where illegal drugs coming from the southwest border are stored in local warehouses, storage units, and residential properties, Said Bodner. “The bulk shipments of drugs are usually broken down into smaller quantities and transported to other states or distributed to local dealers” via the greater Los Angeles international airports, freeways, and bus and train lines that make it easier for smooth smuggling of shipments.
MISSION STATEMENT WARNING: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 107,000 people have died as a result from a drug overdose or poisoning in the United States. Criminal drug networks in Mexico are mass-producing illicit fentanyl and fake pills pressed with fentanyl in filthy, clandestine, unregulated labs. These fake pills are designed to look like real prescription pills right down to the size, shape, color and stamping. These fake pills typically replicate real prescription opioid medications such as oxycodone (Oxycontin®, Percocet®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), and alprazolam (Xanax®); or stimulants like amphetamines (Adderall®).
ADVISORY: The only safe medications are ones that come from licensed and accredited medical professionals. DEA warns that pills purchased outside of a licensed pharmacy are illegal, dangerous, and potentially lethal. For more information please visit www.dea.gov/onepill. This investigation into the drug trafficking organization is ongoing.