Florida 'Drug House' With Enough Fentanyl to Kill 481K People Raided by Police

Authorities in Florida on Tuesday shut down a "drug house" and seized 916 grams of fentanyl—an amount, they said, is enough to kill 481,000 people.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office (FCSO) announced in a Facebook post on Wednesday that its officers had raided a residence in Palm Coast.

The owner of the home, Brian Pirraglia, and a tenant, Michael Connelly, were both arrested on various drug paraphernalia charges. Both men have criminal histories, FCSO said.

During a search of the kitchen, officers found a large plastic bag that contained 510 grams of fentanyl, and a plastic jar labeled "protein" that contained 406 grams of fentanyl. According to FCSO, Pirraglia told authorities that the bag was a present from a neighbor and that he was not aware of its contents. He also said the powdery substance in the jar was "protein."

"Between these two poison peddlers, they had enough fentanyl to kill 481,000 people, which is more than the population of Flagler and St. Johns County combined," said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly in a statement posted on Facebook. "This is another great job by our Special Investigations Unit. I'm proud of their persistence to get 916 grams of poison off our streets and of our SWAT team that safely served the search warrant."

Fentanyl is classified as Schedule II prescription drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is often prescribed to patients dealing with chronic pain. Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl are the "most common" drugs involved in overdose fatalities.

The CDC said that nearly 73 percent of all opioid-involved deaths in 2019 involved synthetic opioids. However, this isn't due to an increase in prescriptions.

"Previous reports have indicated that increases in synthetic opioid-involved deaths have been associated with the number of drug submissions obtained by law enforcement that test positive for fentanyl but not with fentanyl prescribing rates," according to the CDC's website.

"These reports indicate that increases in synthetic opioid-involved deaths are being driven by increases in fentanyl-involved overdose deaths, and the source of the fentanyl is more likely to be illicitly manufactured than pharmaceutical."

Additionally, FCSO said that officers seized 41.2 grams of Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim, a prescription-only narcotic, from Pirraglia and Connelly's home. They also found "used hypodermic syringes, multiple spoons with white powdery residue, a silicone smoking pipe with burnt cannabis residue, and multiple glass containers with residue."

In the master bedroom where Pirraglia was located, police recovered "multiple used hypodermic syringes, multiple spoons with white powdery residue, a glass vial and metal grinder located in a black backpack on the floor, and multiple plastic bags with residue."

Connelly is being charged with possession of drug paraphernalia/equipment and possession of a legend drug without a prescription. Police said he is not being held on bond.

Pirraglia has also been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia/equipment. He is being held on a $2,500 bond, according to police.

Newsweek reached out to FCSO to inquire if the men charged have an attorney.

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Police in Florida raided a drug house that contained enough fentanyl to kill 481,000 people. carlballou/iStock