Buena Park cops made the collar of a lifetime last month when they pulled over a minivan leaving a neighborhood home and wound up with Orange County’s biggest drug bust in 16 years.
The numbers, revealed Wednesday when the Orange County District Attorney’s Office formally charged the two suspected drug dealers, are staggering.
First, there’s the matter of some 821 pounds of meth recovered by Buena Park police officers in the March 17 arrest. Then there’s the 189.7 pounds of cocaine. Oh, and the 20.5 pounds of fentanyl pills.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, fentanyl is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. As the D.A.’s office notes in its press release, as little as two milligrams of fentanyl can kill a person. Therefore, what police found in that minivan could kill 4.7 million people.
Edgar Alfonso Lamas, 36, and Carlos Raygozaparedes, 53, have been charged with one felony count of possession of sale of a controlled substance, three felony counts of sale or transportation for sale of a controlled substance, and two felony counts of possession of sale of a controlled substance.
Additionally, Raygozaparedes and Lamas are charged with two felony enhancements that the controlled substances exceeded 80 kilograms by weight, and two felony enhancements that the controlled substances exceeded 20 kilograms by weight or 400 liters by liquid volume.
Raygozaparedes and Lamas are both looking at a maximum sentence of 37 years and 4 month if convicted on all charges. They have pled not guilty and remain in custody in lieu of $5 million bail. A preliminary hearing is set for June 7 at the North Justice Center in Fullerton in Department N3.
In statement Wednesday, Orange County D.A. Todd Spitzer said, “Millions of unsuspecting people have the grim reaper looking over their shoulder and they have no idea how close they actually are to dying from taking a single pill. Fentanyl is cheap, it’s easy to get and it is killing our children, our coworkers, and tens of thousands of innocent Americans who don’t have to die.”
The news could be much worse for the suspects. In November, Spitzer vowed to charge some fentanyl deaths as poisonings and not accidental overdoses.
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