San Francisco police seize 16 pounds of fentanyl that could 'wipe out' city population 4 times over

The San Francisco Police Department announced Tuesday it seized more than 30 pounds of drugs in Oakland on June 3, taking five suspects into custody as part of an ongoing investigation to stop the sale of deadly drugs in the Tenderloin neighborhood.

Police raided three locations in Oakland with search warrants and discovered two semi-automatic, unregistered, unserialized firearms, also known as ghost guns, more than $45,000 and a hydraulic press for bricking kilos of drugs, the department said. Amid the drug stashes, they found more than 16 pounds of fentanyl, according to a press release.

"The amount of fentanyl seized in this single operation is enough lethal overdoses to wipe out San Francisco's population four times over," SFPD Chief Bill Scott said in a statement. "Fentanyl remains the primary chemical culprit in the record-shattering number of fatal overdoses plaguing our city, and the recovery of semi-automatic ghost guns along with this haul of deadly drugs most likely intended for the Tenderloin is ominous."

At a location on the 9800 block of MacArthur Boulevard, officers found a large quantity of unpackaged fentanyl, the release said, and the Oakland Fire Department was called to the location to assess the situation and declared it a hazardous materials scene.

The five men taken into custody ranged from 23 to 45 years old; they were booked on various narcotics-related charges at Santa Rita Jail, police said.

San Francisco is struggling with a drug epidemic fueled by the addictive synthetic opioid fentanyl, and 2021 is on track to be a record-breaking year for overdose deaths. In January through April, 252 people died from overdoses, according to preliminary data from the San Francisco Chief Medical Examiner's Office. Of those, 182 involved fentanyl. In the same time frame last year, 181 died from overdoses.

The police department said that since the start of the year it has booked booked 248 people for sales or possession of dangerous drugs, seized more than $104,000 in cash and confiscated more than 17 pounds of fentanyl, more than one pound of cocaine, almost five pounds of crack cocaine, more than seven pounds of heroin and more than 10 pounds of methamphetamine.

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