Florida police say three people have been arrested in a drug trafficking operation and that enough fentanyl to kill 5 million people was seized, The Hill reports. The drug trafficking operation transported fentanyl from the Sinaloa Cartel to Compton, Calif., before making it to Florida. The investigation into the drug trafficking began in September as undercover detectives investigated three men living in Hillsborough County, Fla., two of whom were said to be Mexican nationals who entered the country illegally. The three suspects were identified as Juan Manuel Gutierrez Medina, 55; Ruperto Rocha, 65; and Juan Gutierrez Contreras, 25.
Detectives said they conducted controlled purchases from Gutierrez Medina, who sold them large quantities of fentanyl. They made these purchases with the other two suspects as well. In total, detectives seized 10 kilograms in the investigation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl “is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.” It contributes to many overdoses in the U.S., some of which end in death. Fentanyl comes in two forms, pharmaceutical fentanyl and illegally manufactured fentanyl. While the pharmaceutical product is used to treat severe pain, illegal fentanyl can come in many forms and is often mixed with drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine.