Two Arizona sisters were indicted this week after deputies allegedly found over 850,000 counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl inside a vehicle that they were traveling in toward Phoenix last month. Authorities did not state what type of pills those discovered were supposed to emulate.
Kimberli Guadalupe Torres-Marin, 26, and Alexa Torres-Marin, 19, were each indicted by a Maricopa County grand jury with one count of sale or transportation of narcotic drugs, a class two felony, according to an announcement from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office on Monday.
The two women, reportedly sisters, according to AZ Family, were arrested on Aug. 24 after Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies allegedly found the stash in duffel bags. The bags were in the vehicle the women were traveling in towards Phoenix.
To shed light on the fentanyl crisis, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said it will be spearheading a free, public community forum on Sept. 27 at Independence High School in Glendale, Arizona, with experts on fentanyl to help educate parents and teens on the dangers of this drug.
“Fentanyl is highly addictive and can be lethal if even a small amount is ingested or smoked,” the prosecutor’s office said.
“Two out of five counterfeit pills that come across our border are laced with lethal doses of fentanyl,” Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell told FOX 10 Phoenix. “These drugs are being marketed to our youth in the most proliferous ways and are being produced in candy-like colors. We must hold those who bring these lethal pills into our community accountable.”
Since last month, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been sounding the alarm of the emerging trend of brightly colored “rainbow fentanyl” pills used by drug cartels to seemingly market the candy-like substance to children and young people.
On Monday, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Director for the Port of Nogales, Arizona, said his officers stopped five loads totaling approximately 400,000 fentanyl pills over the weekend. Of that amount, approximately 30,000 were rainbow-colored. The loads also contained 152 pounds of methamphetamine, he said.