A multi-agency drug bust led to the arrest of two individuals and the seizure of enough fentanyl to provide 500,000 potentially lethal doses.

The North Alabama Drug Task Force (NADTF) worked with the Madison County Sheriff's Narcotics Team and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency's Drug Task Force to take down two suspects as part of a lengthy investigation.

Kelvis Steven Hernandez Maldonado, 24, and Anthony Javier Hernandez Maldonado, 21, were both charged with drug trafficking after Huntsville Police said they were in possession of 2.2 pounds of fentanyl.

Fentanyl Alabama News
Photo: Huntsville Police Department.

Each pound of fentanyl contains 453.6 grams, which comes out to about 226,700 lethal doses of fentanyl, according to the National Immigration Forum. That means 2.2 pounds of fentanyl has the potential to kill half a million people.

Both suspects were both booked into the Madison County Jail on $1.5 million bonds.

"These arrests come after a lengthy investigation into an out-of-area drug organization that is responsible for distributing large quantities of fentanyl in North Alabama," the Huntsville Police Department posted on Facebook. "NADTF Deputy Commander Kennington emphasized the success of this joint operation, highlighting the pivotal role played by the collaborative efforts of all participating agencies."

U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) has urged President Joe Biden to strengthen border policy to stop the flow of dangerous drugs into the country. She contends the drugs come from China but are brought to Mexico, where they are brought over the border into the United States.

"We all know that fentanyl is devastating our communities across this great nation," Britt said earlier this year. "It is now the leading cause of death for Americans under 45. More than 150 people die each day from an overdose related to fentanyl."

"At the current rate, more Americans will die in the next decade from fentanyl than combat deaths in all the wars since America's founding," she continued.

Just last week, Jefferson County drug overdose fatalities exceeded the 2022 numbers. As of Tuesday, there were 453 drug overdose deaths in 2023, compared to 448 last year. There are still 25 suspected drug fatalities in 2023 that have not been confirmed.

Most drug overdoses are caused by opioids, and the effects of opioids may be reversed by Narcan.

Anyone in Alabama can receive a free Narcan kit by completing an online training video.

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