Ohio Attorney General Says 22,000 Seized Fentanyl Pills Is Proof U.S. Needs a Stronger

Approximately 22,000 fentanyl pills and nearly 42 pounds of suspected fentanyl seized in a drug bust by the Central Ohio Major Drug Interdiction/HIDTA Task Force is proof we need a stronger southern border according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

The task force, created under the state attorney general’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission and led by the Columbus Police division intercepted the smuggling of the illegal drugs this week.

According to Yost and Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant, on Tuesday, the task force performed three search warrants and seized 19 kilograms of suspected fentanyl, approximately 22,000 fentanyl pills, two handguns, and a rifle.

“This case is proof positive of why we need a stronger southern border that restrains evil – drug traffickers are bringing their poison right to our doorsteps and into our communities,” Yost said.

Thursday, Yost and Bryant announced the arrests of three drug traffickers in the fentanyl seizure.

Jessica Alejandra Delacruz- Toscano, Raymundo Martinez-Meza, and Ivan Eduardo Torres-Meza were arrested and charged with felony drug trafficking.

According to the attorney general’s office, the two men are believed to be in the United States illegally. Delacruz-Toscano is said to be in the country waiting for approval. The Franklin County Corrections Center is detaining all three individuals.

The task force’s investigation found that the suspects were receiving large amounts of narcotics, including fentanyl and cocaine, and distributing it throughout central Ohio and the surrounding areas.

The task force includes the Columbus Division of Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, and the Gahanna Police Department.

Yost said this drug bust is “the latest success by the task force as they work to combat the opioid epidemic.”

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. In most adults, the DEA notes, a 2-3 milligram dose is fatal. The powerful drug is also made and used legally by prescription.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a report last year, saying that for the first time in modern history, over 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in a year. Fentanyl and other synthetic drugs caused approximately two-thirds of those deaths.

The Ohio Department of Health states that in 2020, 81 percent of overdose deaths involved fentanyl, often combined with other drugs. That percentage increased from 76 percent in 2019, 73 percent in 2018, and 71 percent in 2017.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Dave Yost” by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. Background Photo “Fentanyl” by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.




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