Delaware investigators along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation say they seized enough fentanyl during a massive drug bust to kill 75 percent of the state's population of 973,764.
What are the details?
Delaware State Police and the FBI on Monday announced 28 arrests in connection with the drug bust, titled Operation No Mas.
According to WPVI-TV, all 28 suspects have been charged with 252 felonies, including criminal racketeering, conspiracy, drug dealing, and more. The station reported that the organization also "carried out a great deal of violence."
Authorities executed 31 search warrants in their investigation of the group, referred to as the Renteria Drug Trafficking Organization for its "leader," Luis Renteria. They discovered at least $5 million worth of fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin.
Renteria reportedly owned rental properties in both Delaware and Pennsylvania. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
In a statement, Jennifer Boone, special agent in charge of the FBI's Baltimore field office, said, "Included in these results was the largest fentanyl seizure by Delaware law enforcement in the state's history, making a major dent in the supply of fentanyl that would have been distributed on the streets of Newark [Delaware] and surrounding areas. Alone, the quantity of fentanyl seized could have killed thousands and thousands and thousands of people."
Jones added that sources of supplies for the Renteria organization "were located in numerous states including California, Pennsylvania, and Florida."
The News Journal reported that authorities are investigating whether Renteria's organization is "directly responsible for any overdose deaths."
"Drug dealers often have unique stamps to differentiate their heroin from others, so police are working to trace whether any overdoses came from drugs linked to Renteria," the outlet noted.
Renteria and others would likely also be charged with those deaths if so, according to authorities.
Enough to kill 750,000 Delawareans
Lt. Robert Jones of the Delaware State Police said that the quantity of fentanyl seized was incredible.
"It was enough ... to kill 750,000 Delawareans," Jones said.
Delaware Attorney General Kathleen Jennings added, "The amount of fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, drug money, and guns seized in this sting has saved lives and will save lives — point blank. The actions of these narcotics enterprises have ripples stretching across our region and, at times, across the nation."
"Disrupting them helps disrupt a drug trade that I and everyone else here today can attest breeds violence in Delaware and elsewhere," Jennings added.
A media release from the Delaware State Police noted that investigators seized at least five vehicles and more than $260,000 in cash including the following:
- Approximately 7,519.5 grams of fentanyl (7.5 Kilos)
- Approximately 4,215.5 grams of cocaine (4.2 Kilos)
- Approximately 1,114 grams of crack cocaine (1.1 Kilos)
- Approximately 537 grams of heroin (.5 Kilos)
- Approximately 45.3 lbs. of marijuana
- 14 Doses of LSD
- 288 Xanax prescription pills
- 20 firearms
- Over $260,000 in suspected drug proceeds