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100 pounds of fentanyl seized, 3 charged with drug trafficking

On June 19, an indictment that charged three California residents with possession of fentanyl with intent to sell was unsealed. The Drug Enforcement Agency reported that three residents were taken into custody after approximately 100 pounds of fentanyl, a drug that is deadly in small doses, was seized. The amount seized was reportedly enough to kill 1.4 million people.

According to the indictment, the three accused individuals reportedly discussed transporting the then-unidentified drug on Nov. 30. One of the men received instructions to have a second man act as a courier. The courier would take three separate trips on consecutive days to move the drug. The DEA used this information to obtain a warrant. They stopped the courier's vehicle and recovered about 33 pounds. The agents then obtained a warrant for the accused person's residence, where they found another 66 pounds of fentanyl. All three individuals face life in prison and $10 million in fines.

Fentanyl has been blamed as one of the leading causes of opioid deaths and is about 50 times more powerful than heroin. Although it is used to reduce pain for terminally ill patients, dealers have also begun adding the drug to heroin or sugar.

Being charged with drug trafficking can result in serious legal consequences, especially if the quantity is substantial. Lengthy prison sentences and the requirement to register as a drug offender are only a few of the consequences a person could face. However, even though states aggressively prosecute these types of cases, a criminal law attorney may seek to have the charges reduced or dismissed. Depending on the evidence and the circumstances, the attorney may argue that a person was unwittingly or unwillingly involved in the drug trafficking scheme.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "DEA Seizes Enough Fentanyl to Kill Illinois", Robert Kahn, June 20, 2017

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