The Scottsdale Police Department held a press conference on Thursday to announce a record narcotics seizure.
Working in tandem with the Phoenix Field Division of the DEA, Scottsdale police undertook an investigation involving Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, resulting in the seizure of 1.7 million fentanyl pills, which has an estimated street value of $9 million.
“The Sinaloa Cartel primarily uses trafficking routes that go through Arizona,” Cheri Oz, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Phoenix Field Division, said during the press conference. “We are confident this is Sinaloa Cartel narcotics.”
During the two-month surge, authorities say they collected a total of three million pills, 45 kilos of fentanyl powders, and over 35 firearms, while arresting over 40 drug traffickers.
The pills and the powdered fentanyl totaled almost six million fentanyl pills, according to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.
“That is enough to kill half the population in the state of Arizona. Two milligrams can be fatal in some instances,” he said. “This may be in Arizona’s backyard today but it’s coming to the rest of the country.”
As a result, the record-setting drug bust could have very well saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
“The pills in front of you are death, that’s what they are,” Scottsdale Police Chief Jeff Walther told reporters. “Fentanyl, which has really hit the market for us, is what is driving our opioid crisis not just in Arizona, not just in this region, but across the country.”