Police have charged two men in California after authorities allegedly found them in possession of enough fentanyl to kill 4.7 million people.
Officers discovered more than nine kilograms of the deadly and powerful opioid, along with 91 kilograms of cocaine, and 363 kilograms of methamphetamines.
A lethal dose of fentanyl is as little as 2 milligrams.
Buena Park police discovered the drugs inside a minivan pulling out from an Orange County home.
Edgar Alfonso Lamas, 36, and Carlos Raygozaparedes, 53, have pleaded not guilty to six drug-related counts with enhancements and remain in custody on bail, set at US $5 million (AUD $6.6 million/ £5.04 million).
Recreationally, fentanyl is an opioid used to boost the potency of other illicit drugs such as heroin or can be used illegally on its own.
Pharmaceutical fentanyl is used for managing acute or chronic pain.
Police are now cracking down on fentanyl dealers as drug use in Orange Country has increased by 1,000 per cent over the last five years.
In November, Todd Spitzer, the Orange County District Attorney (OCDA), announced that a drug dealer or distributor of drugs could be charged with murder if it was determined their drug activities resulted in death.
Spitzer has ripped into Lamas and Raygozaparedes in a brutal statement.
“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,” he 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."
Spitzer lashed out at those making 'as much money as possible' from distributing illicit substances, adding that 'drug dealers don’t care about you or your loved ones'.
"With fentanyl in an estimated 40 percent of street drugs, it’s not a matter of if but when someone you know and love dies from fentanyl," the District Attorney said.
"We have to continue to do everything we can to combat this deadly drug epidemic and save lives.”
The two men caught with the fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamines will front court on June 7.
If convicted on all charges, they face a maximum sentence of 37 years and four months in prison.Featured Image Credit: Orange County District Attorney’s Office