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Laced & Lethal campaign leads to arrest of man carrying enough fentanyl to kill over 4,000 people

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Posted at 12:00 PM, Sep 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-15 12:05:31-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — Collier County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) has confirmed the arrest of 31-year-old David Graham of Lehigh Acres with trafficking enough fentanyl to kill over 4,000 people.

Graham’s arrest comes as CCSO is leading an attack on fentanyl. Last week Sheriff Kevin Rambosk unveiled a communitywide fentanyl awareness and prevention campaign. The Laced & Lethal campaign is the most comprehensive safety initiative in the history of Collier County.

“These pills were disguised to look like legitimate prescription pills, which is an alarming nationwide trend,” Sheriff Rambosk said. “I’ve said this before and I’m going to keep saying it, ‘If you didn’t get it from a pharmacy you should not ingest it. The consequences can be fatal.”

Deputies conducted a traffic stop on I-75 in the area of Turner River Road around noon.

Graham told deputies he was out driving on the interstate because “Lehigh Acres was boring,” according to his arrest report. When a deputy asked him if there were any weapons in the vehicle, he said there weren’t any. But when asked the same question a few minutes later by another deputy he said he had a firearm in the center console.

A CCSO K9 alerted to the presence of narcotics inside Graham’s vehicle. The deputies conducted a probable cause search. Under the driver-side floorboard hidden below the floor mat deputies found a clear plastic bag containing 50 blue fentanyl pills. The fentanyl weighed 8.7 grams, enough to kill 4,350 people.

The fentanyl pills were imprinted with “M” and “30” to resemble prescription “30 M” oxycodone hydrochloride 30 mg pills.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, criminal networks increasingly disguise fentanyl by mixing it into pills designed to mimic prescription painkillers. Fentanyl pills have caused people who believed they were genuine to overdose.

Just 2 mg of fentanyl – equal to a few grains of table salt – is a lethal dosage for most people, and even exposure can cause a fatal reaction, according to the DEA.

The search of Graham’s vehicle also turned up a firearm in the center console. The firearm had a live round of ammunition in the chamber and a magazine with eight more live rounds of ammunition in it.

For more on Sheriff Rambosk’s Laced & Lethal campaign go to colliersheriff.org/lacedandlethal