Sheriff deputies in the Florida Panhandle recently seized enough fentanyl to kill 800,000 people, a local TV station reported.
Five warrants at five Escambia County homes uncovered 1,600 grams of fentanyl — enough to kill everyone in northwest Florida, WEAR reported.
"We had enough lethal fentanyl to kill 800,000." Sheriff Chip Simmons said Friday. "That's enough to conceivably kill every person in Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, Okaloosa County, and Walton County — and probably a few of the neighboring counties as well. ... That tells you how dangerous this is."
In what was called "Operation Blue Christmas," police found blue methamphetamine pills laced with fentanyl, as well as bricks of fentanyl itself. They also seized 16 guns, three vehicles, and arrested seven people, with more expected, WEAR reported.
Deputies also found 30,268 grams of ecstasy — much of it mixed with fentanyl, 681 grams of meth, 1.25 kilos of crack cocaine, 229 grams of powder cocaine, and 25 pounds of marijuana.
"This is a Christmas presents to these neighborhoods," Simmons said. "Believe me, it's probably better than any gift they're gonna have."
Deputies found most of the fentanyl in one home, where the drugs risked the life of a 4-month-old.
"Conceivably, the baby sleeps right here," Simmons said, WEAR reported. "You see this white stuff on it? That's not baby powder. We tested that. That's fentanyl. That's methamphetamine. That's drugs that's deadly to us. It's certainly deadly to a toddler."
The sheriff's office was alerted of drug activity at the targeted homes by neighbors. Simmons encouraged citizens to keep reporting such concerns to deputies.
"We are committed to stopping these people that are ruining our neighborhoods," Simmons said. "We are committed to stopping the ones bringing this stuff in, we are committed to stopping the ones selling it and opening up their homes for this type of dangerous behavior.
"Our Narcotics Unit has just been knocking it out of the park — and they've only begun."
Fentanyl overdoses in Escambia County increased by 80% in 2021, killing nearly 300 people.
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