PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a State Grand Jury indicted Maria Gallardo and Marco Neri for two counts of Transportation of a Narcotic Drug (Heroin) for Sale, one count of Transportation of a Narcotic Drug (Fentanyl) for Sale, one count of Transportation of a Narcotic Drug (Cocaine) for Sale, one count of Possession of a Narcotic Drug (Fentanyl) for Sale, one count of Illegally Conducting an Enterprise, and one count of Conspiracy. The charges are based on an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Surprise Police Department, the Mesa Police Department, and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
On August 9, 2020, police concluded an investigation into Gallardo and Neri. During a traffic stop on the Loop 202 and a search warrant, police recovered a total of 400,000 fentanyl pills, 1 kilogram of fentanyl powder, 20 kilograms of cocaine, and 1 kilogram of heroin. The estimated street value of the 400,000 fentanyl pills recovered on August 9, 2020 is at least $2,000,000.
Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid drug approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. Fentanyl has become more widely available in the United States and grown as a threat to public safety. It only takes a very small amount of fentanyl, which can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin, to result in serious adverse reactions and even death.