INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — One million pills containing fentanyl were seized during a raid near Los Angeles this month, in what the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says was the largest bust of its kind in California.
The pills were found when agents served a search warrant July 5 at a home in Inglewood that investigators believe was a stash house with links to traffickers for the Sinaloa cartel, the DEA said in a statement Thursday.
“This massive seizure disrupted the flow of dangerous amounts of fentanyl into our streets and probably saved many lives,” DEA special agent Bill Bodner said in the statement.
The pills have an estimated street value of 15 to 20 million dollars, officials said.
Bodner said the small size of the pills coupled with deceptive marketing make them seem less dangerous than they are.
The U.S. DEA says that illegal drug networks in Mexico mass-produce the fake pills pressed with fentanyl and make them look like real prescription pills. They mimic the size, shape, color and stamping of prescription opioid pills like Oxycontin, Vicodin and Xanax.
In 2021, the DEA seized over 3 million fentanyl pills in the greater Los Angeles Area, almost three times as many as in 2020. From January to April 2022, the organization seized about 1.5 million pills, up 64% compared to the same period last year, the agency said.
The investigation into the organization behind the bust is ongoing.