Maricopa County Indicts Two Women Transporting over 850,000 Fentanyl Pills

The Maricopa County Grand Jury indicted two women Monday for possessing over 850,000 counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl, enough to cause potentially millions of overdoses.

“Two out of five counterfeit pills that come across our border are laced with lethal doses of fentanyl. These drugs are being marketed to our youth in the most proliferous ways and are being produced in candy-like colors. We must hold those who bring these lethal pills into our community accountable,” County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said.

The women, Kimberli Guadalupe Torres-Marin, 26, and Alexa Torres-Marin, 19, were arrested on August 24 after Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies found the pills stashed in duffel bags. The women were en route to Phoenix when they were searched. Both received one count each of sale or transportation of narcotic drugs, a class 2 felony.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s office will hold a community forum on September 27 to discuss the fentanyl crisis in Maricopa County. The public is welcome to attend.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), just two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal depending on the user’s body size and tolerance. The DEA shared that 42 percent of pills tested for fentanyl contained more than the deadly limit. One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill roughly 500,000 people.

The average fentanyl pill weighs roughly one-tenth of a gram, meaning the Torres-Marins had 85 kilograms of fentanyl. Using the DEA’s statistics, the two women potentially carried enough fentanyl to cause the deaths of 42,500,000 Arizonans or Americans, depending on the pill’s final destination.

Moreover, Maricopa County deputies are not the only officials catching fentanyl carriers. Nogales Port of Entry Director Michael Humphries shared that multiple fentanyl seizures occurred during the week of September 12-18. On Tuesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers found 20,000 fentanyl pills, plus 6,000 multi-colored “rainbow” fentanyl, in a car’s gas tank. The next day, officers and K9 units made another, much bigger, seizure of 276,000 pills, over half of which were rainbow-patterned. Then, over the weekend, five separate loads of fentanyl pills were taken at the port, totaling 400,000 more pills, 30,000 of which were multi-colored.

In these reported incidents, officials confiscated around 702,000 fentanyl pills, equivocating to just over 70 kilograms of the opioid. This means CBP officers seized enough pills to kill another 35,100,000 people. This number accounts for a single week at a single port along the southern border.

Furthermore, the DEA warned that the rainbow variety of fentanyl had been found in 18 states as of August 30. While there is no evidence suggesting one color is more potent than another, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram shared Mitchell’s fears that the candy-like appearance of the pills may be an effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults.

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 150 people die daily from overdoses related to synthetic opioids. Signs of an overdose include shrunken pupils, loss of consciousness, slowed breathing, and cold, clammy, or discolored skin.

Moreover, fentanyl is not the only illicit drug in Arizona. Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) recorded two recent incidents resulting in nearly 300 pounds of methamphetamine being seized. Both incidents occurred on I-10 westbound near Tucson. Drivers Carlos Celaya, 23, and Jesus Enriquez, 61, were arrested on felony drug charges.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Courtroom” by Karen Neoh. CC BY 2.0.


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5 Thoughts to “Maricopa County Indicts Two Women Transporting over 850,000 Fentanyl Pills”

  1. Bob Mosemak

    These smugglers should get life in prison for all the deaths that are attributed to these drugs. Its time to take a stand and stop the cartels from continuing this trafficking. Life in prison is a great start.

  2. Margaret

    Any decent person knows this is reason enough to close the border !

  3. Richard Cunningham

    The drug problem – not only Fentanyl – has gotten thoroughly out of hand. I’m by no means an expert on the problem but think I might have a solution. At least a step in the right direction. What I feel has to be done is do away with the demand. Do that and the supply will go away. We have some very large desert areas. Clear an area about 500 miles from nowhere and have no road in or out. Just a small landing strip for helicopters. Build a very large compound using prison labor. Those prisoners would no doubt jump at the chance to get out of their cells with a chance to do something useful. Have good living conditions AC heat, good food and recreation. The areas would be secure and if anyone wanted to escape he’d be in big trouble in the middle of a big desert. When someone is caught on drugs send him/her there to dry out. Have specialists to work with them. Treat them well and when dried out explain to them when released if they get caught again on any drugs they won’t come back they will them go to prison for a very long time. This is what I feel could be done with the problem. Nothing is perfect and my idea might have some flaws, but I feel something has to be done. As it is, we’re raising generations of worthless drug indited idiots, and that’s wrong because Americans, no matter what their skin color might be. At one time we were THE WORLD LEADER. Now what are we? Nothing but the bedroom community of the world that can’t seem to do anything for ourselves. We all, including our youth are too good for that. I’m an old man in his late 90s. I served my country in the Pacific during WW2. That makes me nothing special but I feel our young people could step up exactly the same as my generation did if given a chance. We won the war but lost the peace. Perhaps the younger generations would do better if given a chance.

  4. Mexicans? No. Say it isn’t so. Be cutting down hunter’s profits.

  5. Alexander Scipio

    Thank a Biden voter.