Authorities have seized 20 kilograms of suspected fentanyl in a huge drug bust in Dayton, Ohio.
That is enough of the synthetic opioid “to kill the entire population of Ohio, many times over,” said Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Vance Callender.
“The quantity of fentanyl in this case amounts to chemical warfare and a weapon of mass destruction,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a statement.
“I applaud the work of our task force and our law enforcement partners – this is an enormous amount of deadly drugs that will no longer be on our streets.”
Agents also seized 1,500 grams of suspected methamphetamine, 500 grams of suspected heroin, three firearms and over $30,000 during last week’s operation.
“These illegal drugs ruin lives, destroy families, fuels violence, drives up property crime, and wrecks neighborhoods. Anyone associated with it – especially those who sell and traffic it – are doing violence to people and causing harm in our communities,” Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck said in a statement.
Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger said that fentanyl and methamphetamine are responsible for the “vast majority of overdose deaths” in the area, and believes that getting these drugs off the streets “will save lives.”
A recent report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics found that fentanyl is the drug most commonly identified in fatal overdoses.
The multimillion-dollar seizure “clearly shows the enormity of the opioid problem in this area,” FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Deters said.
“Law enforcement will continue to work aggressively to address the illegal drug supply, but there is also a continuing need to address demand as well.”
Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the investigation. They are facing charges of possession with intent to distribute 400 or more grams of fentanyl and felon in possession of a firearm.
CNN’s Rebekah Riess contributed to this story.