21 Kilos of Carfentanil, An Elephant Tranquilizer 10,000 Times More Potent Than Morphine, Seized from Perris Home


An alarmingly large load of drugs generally used as a tranquilizing agent for elephants and other large animals was seized from a home in Perris, and a couple now faces multiple drug charges in the case.

Andres Jesus Morales, 30, and Alyssa Christine Ponce, 27, are both being held without bail Monday after being charged with possession for sales of fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin. Both pleaded not guilty at their arraignment on Thursday, and are scheduled to make their next appearance in court on Nov. 9.

The couple was arrested during an investigation into drug trafficking of fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin in Riverside County. The 21 kilos of carfentanil, 20 kilos of cocaine, and a kilo of heroin were seized during searches at two Perris homes, on Glimmer Way and another on Limousin Street, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

Drugs: An alarmingly large load of tranquilizers for elephants and other large animals was seized from a home in Perris. | Photo by Riverside County Police Department

The synthetic drug carfentanil is considered to be 100 times more potent than fentanyl, and 10,000 times more so than morphine – and if mixed in with other drugs, the 21 kilos that were seized last month could be enough to potentially kill more than 50 million people, prosecutors said.

Carfentanil comes in several forms, including powder, blotter paper, tablets, patch, and spray. The Department of Justice warns that it can be absorbed through the skin or accidentally inhaled, and is a threat to first responders and law enforcement who may come into contact with it.

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department | Contributed

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