NewsLocal News


Deputies: Pair had enough fentanyl to kill 4,600 people

Tyler Qualls & Damian Strickland
Posted at 12:28 PM, Nov 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 13:00:26-05

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — A stop for careless driving Monday night led to the arrests of two people and the discovery of enough fentanyl, investigators said, to kill more than 4,600 people.

26-year-old Tyler Allen Qualls is charged with trafficking charges for drugs including fentanyl, meth, LSD,marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Damian Marc Strickland, 22, is charged with possession of cocaine, synthetic cannabinoids, drug paraphernalia, and violation of state probation.

A deputy witnessed a 2012 gold Ford escape swerving across two lanes of traffic near the 5300 block of Golden Gate Parkway around 8 p.m. The sheriff's office incident report lists Qualls as the driver.

During the traffic stop on the vehicle, deputies learned Strickland had an active warrant out of Collier County for violation of state probation stemming from a 2019 burglary conviction.

Deputies say they found a bag with cocaine inside in one of Strickland's pockets. Upon searching the rest of the vehicle, investigators found 9.29 grams of fentanyl.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. It can be a threat to anyone who comes into contact with it as it can be absorbed through the skin or accidentally inhaled.

Also found in the truck, and all packaged for sale, were more than 16 grams of meth, 6 grams of LSD, and 71 grams of marijuana.

A search of the vehicle turned up numerous amounts of narcotics individually packaged for sale underneath seats, in the air vent, in the center console, in door handles, and other locations, including:

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says 1 kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people.

Deputies also found an unloaded firearm tucked inside a lunchbox in the vehicle.

Court dates for the pair were not immediately available.