The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations has arrested a Nashville man who was in possession of enough fentanyl-laced pills to kill roughly 150,000 people.
Angel Rodriguez Troche was arrested by Murfreesboro Police on Tuesday.
Law enforcement seized approximately 15,000 of the deadly pills following his arrest.
“In June, Murfreesboro PD detectives and TBI drug agents received information about an individual involved in a drug trafficking organization that was supplying fake Roxicodone pills for distribution,” the TBI said in a press release.
“During the course of the investigation, and with the assistance of the Metro Nashville Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration, agents and detectives identified Angel Troche as the individual in possession of the fentanyl-laced pills,” the release continued.
The Daily Caller reports, “using the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) metric that 1 kilogram of fentanyl is enough to potentially kill 500,000 people, the 300 grams could be enough to kill nearly 150,000 people.”
“The number of fentanyl-laced pills confiscated could have killed thousands of people. Our goal is preventing deaths and these types of joint operations, not only save lives but put the pill pushers behind bars,” the Murfreesboro Police Department told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Troche has now been charged with one count of Possession of Fentanyl over 300 grams. He was booked into the Rutherford County Jail on a $150,000 bond.
According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times stronger than morphine.
“Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths. Clandestinely-produced fentanyl is primarily manufactured in Mexico,” the agency’s fact-sheet on the drug explains.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, overdoses involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (primarily fentanyl) were the cause of 56,516 deaths reported in 2020.
Earlier this month, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sent a letter to Joe Biden asking for fentanyl to be labeled a “Weapon of Mass Destruction.”
“Border patrol has seized enough fentanyl to kill the entire American population many times over,” Moody wrote. “With that in mind, and the recent mass overdose events in Hillsborough and Gadsden counties, I am demanding President Biden classify illicit fentanyl as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.”
The WMD designation would allow the federal government to marshal more resources and agencies against it, including the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, according to a report from the Tallahassee Democrat.
“The federal government already works to disrupt the supply chains of other chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons — it’s not hard to imagine that similar tactics could be used to reduce the flow of illicit fentanyl into the U.S. through cartels in Mexico — and save countless American lives,” Moody added.