A 43-year-old man is behind bars after authorities found hundreds of fentanyl pills along with additional narcotics at a home in Coachella Wednesday morning.
At 7:00 AM, members of the Coachella Community Action Team (CCAT), with the assistance of the Southern Coachella Valley Community Service District Team (SCVCSDT), the La Quinta Special Enforcement Team (SET), and the California Highway Patrol, served a search warrant at a residence located in the 86-200 block of Pinot Noir.
The search warrant stemmed from a narcotics and weapon investigation CCAT was conducting, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
Authorities said that during the search of the residence, CCAT deputies found approximately 300 Fentanyl pills, powder Fentanyl, methamphetamine, a stolen handgun, and items indicative of narcotics sale.
The suspect, a Coachella resident, was arrested and booked into the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio. He faces multiple charges including, being a felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of narcotics while armed.
Authorities added that charges of narcotic sales will be filed on another subject who was not present during the search warrant.
Anyone with any information regarding this incident is urged to contact Deputy Nevins with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at (760)863-8990, or Crime Stoppers at (760)341-STOP (7867).
Fentanyl overdoses continue to be a growing problem in Riverside County.
I think we're looking at probably four to 500 deaths this year. It looks like I think is what we're on pace for,” John Hall, Public Information Officer for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, told News Channel 3's Samantha Lomibao on Monday.
The county is reporting that at least 79 people have died from January to March of this year. All but one of those deaths were considered unintentional.
On Monday, the DA's office announced that the County’s Gang Impact Team seized $1.5 million worth of the drug over the past two weeks.
Fentanyl is known to be 80-100 times more potent than morphine and is a popular additive, seamlessly mixed into any number of narcotics and pharmaceuticals.
In Nov. 2021, Riverside County DA Mike Hestrin joined OC Todd Spitzer in announcing that those who manufacture or sell fentanyl can be charged with murder if someone dies after ingesting or being exposed to it.
The most recent case involved the death of 32-year-old Cameron Bridges, who died after receiving a pill from a friend. Cameron's loved ones told News Channel 3's Samantha Lomibao that he took the pill for pain relief, following a recent dental procedure.
The pill was laced with fentanyl, which Cameron did not know but the dealer allegedly did.
The 39-year-old Palm Desert woman accused of selling the fentanyl to Bridges was arrested and charged with murder in May.