A Fullerton man has been charged with felonies for possessing enough fentanyl to kill 12 million people.
California Highway Patrol officers arrested the 60-year-old suspected drug dealer Alfonso Gomez-Santana on Wednesday after finding four kilos of fentanyl inside his car during a traffic stop.
The officers discovered an additional 20 kilos of fentanyl, $250,000 in fentanyl pills and 122 grams of methamphetamine while searching his Fullerton home.
Two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal.
Gomez-Santana has been charged with one felony count of sale or transport of a controlled substance and two felony counts of possession of sale with intent to sell.
He could face a maximum sentence of six years and eight months in jail.
"It is unconscionable that someone who has the ability to kill 12 million people is facing just a handful of years in jail," said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
Last year, drug-related overdose deaths topped 100,000 annually for the first time, driven by fentanyl, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Spitzer said prosecutors must hold drug dealers and manufacturers accountable to stop the rising trend.
"Every parent in America should be petrified that one day they are going to walk into their child's bedroom and find them dead because their child thought they were experimenting with recreational drugs, and instead drug dealers sold them a deadly dose of fentanyl," Spitzer said. "This is not fear-mongering; this is reality – and if we don't start strengthening penalties for drug dealers, it's going to be the reality for you or someone you love."