In a massive three-state drug bust, authorities have arrested 35 people and seized a huge amount of fentanyl. As CNN reports, the quantity of fentanyl seized in the search could kill somewhere around 14 million people.
The U.S. Justice Department traced the source of some of the deadly opioids to Shanghai, China. In the process of the bust, authorities have shut down an alleged drug trafficking ring here in the States.
"The illicit fentanyl that's coming in, the vast majority is from China and a lot of it is coming in through the mails," U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger explained. "The last thing we want is for the U.S. Postal Service to become the nation's largest drug dealer and there are people way above my pay grade working on that, but absolutely it's about putting pressure on the Chinese."
39 co-conspirators have also been charged with 106 counts for their involvement in the drug ring. Authorities first started on the case in March 2016, with the suspects ranging from 19 to 63 years old. 30 kilograms of fentanyl, 30 kilos of heroin, 5 kilos of cocaine, $700,000 in cash, and 24 firearms were also seized by the 120 or so officers in the operation. The three-day targeted arrest operation took place in Virginia, North Carolina, and Texas.
"We're not talking about $5 and $600 deals, we're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars, you know, $20,000 in the trunk of somebody's car in a gym bag behind a local restaurant," Terwillger added. Four additional suspects that have been named in the indictment reportedly remain at large.