The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office detained two people who were smuggling over $3.7 million in fentanyl from Charlotte to Philadelphia in a major operation.
The arrest occurred during a routine traffic stop on I-77, during which deputies discovered a surprising amount of the dangerous drug.
Deputies stopped a 2014 Freightliner tractor-trailer on I-77 on Sunday for a routine traffic violation. The occupants, Lorenzo Juan Arreola, 44, of New Mexico, and Lucio Eduardo Chavira Avila, 33, of Mexico, claimed to be carrying tiles to Philadelphia.
During the traffic stop, deputies used Canine Groot, a narcotics-detection canine, to examine the truck thoroughly. Deputies discovered 118 pounds of fentanyl, potentially combined with cocaine when Canine Groot positively indicated the presence of narcotics. In addition, almost $100,000 in cash was discovered in the tractor cab.
Arreola and Avila were both arrested shortly after for fentanyl/heroin trafficking. They were transferred to the Iredell County Detention Center after their arrests and were each given a $3.5 million secured bond.
Sheriff Darren Cambell underscored the gravity of the situation, saying that the total street value of the drugs collected is around $3.75 million. The amount of fentanyl alone was enough to potentially injure almost 26 million individuals, emphasizing the lethal risks if the chemicals reached their goal.
This successful operation emphasizes the necessity of law enforcement efforts in detecting illicit drug trafficking, particularly of strong and life-threatening narcotics like fentanyl. The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office maintains its commitment to community safety by effectively combatting the flow of harmful substances.