Following the arrest of 2 suspects in October of 2015 for several drug related charges, the seized contraband was submitted to the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s lab for testing. Yavapai County Sheriff’s K9 deputies had originally reported the seizure of 30 pounds of cocaine and 4.5 pounds of heroin. In December of 2015, DPS test results indicated 14 pounds of Fentanyl seized that had been originally classified as cocaine by appearance.
In October of 2015, during a discussion about a traffic violation, a Yavapai County deputy detected signs of deception and nervousness from Casiano Angulo Jr. regarding travel plans and his relationship to passenger Ignacio Soto Jr. At one point, Angulo admitted there was a small amount of marijuana inside the vehicle along with a small quantity of cocaine hidden in his cell phone case. The deputy spoke with Soto who acknowledged that marijuana would be found in the vehicle and agreed to a consent search.
During the search, deputies located a spare tire in the trunk area that did not match the type of rim and tire for the Nissan model being driven. The tire was also unusually heavy and difficult to remove. When the tire was cut open, deputies found several sealed packages of cocaine and heroin. Later examination revealed 30 pounds of packaged cocaine and 4.5 pounds of packaged heroin. Deputies did find a bindle of cocaine in a cell phone case along with marijuana inside the vehicle as Angulo had earlier indicated.
The suspects in this case, the 26-year-old Angulo, and the 25-year-old Soto, from Los Angeles are each now serving 5 year prison terms.
The Drug Enforcement Administration informed YCSO detectives that the 14 pounds of Fentanyl seized was one of the largest in the U.S. in 2015. The seizure amounts to several million ‘hits’ of the lethal drug taken off the streets.
Recently the Drug Enforcement Administration warned law enforcement personnel to avoid contact with Fentanyl during drug seizures and arrests because it is easily absorbed through the skin, or accidentally inhaled if the powder becomes airborne during handing. As soon as the December 2015 lab test results were received, warnings and drug handling procedures for area Yavapai County law enforcement agencies were enhanced to protect officers from exposure.
Fentanyl is a member of the class of drugs known as Fentanyls, rapid-acting synthetic opioid drugs that alleviate pain without causing loss of consciousness (analgesic). Fentanyl depresses central nervous system (CNS) and respiratory function. Exposure to Fentanyl may be fatal. Fentanyl is estimated to be 80 times as potent as morphine and hundreds of times more potent than heroin. It is a drug of abuse. Fentanyl (and other opioids) could possibly be used as an incapacitating agent to impair a person’s ability to function.
Many times Fentanyl is commonly used to ‘cut’ heroin, making it even more deadly than it already is. You cannot smell it or taste it. Overdose deaths from Fentanyl laced heroin are on the rise in the U.S.