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Phoenix PD: $3 million in fentanyl pills seized in major bust

Posted at 3:50 PM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-24 06:59:53-05

PHOENIX — Phoenix police say nearly 170,000 fentanyl pills were seized recently as part of a Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force operation.

Officers and agents working with the DEA were actively tracking 24-year-old Marcelino Ontiveros Quintero for drug activity.

He was recently taken into custody by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, with approximately 165,000 blue “M-30” fentanyl pills located in his possession. Police and the DEA asked DPS to conduct the traffic stop on the vehicle, in which Quintero was a passenger at the time. The driver, Norma Ibarra Justo, also had fentanyl in her possession and was arrested.

Task Force members then searched additional locations connected to Quintero and located another 4,000 pills.

In total, Phoenix police say the pills have a street value of approximately $3 million.

“It’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between street fentanyl and legitimate oxycodone tablets but the fentanyl can lead to deadly consequences,” Phoenix police said in a statement. “The DEA is warning all Arizonans not to take any pill that isn’t prescribed by a medical professional and dispensed through a licensed pharmacy.”

ABC15 has reached out to the DEA for additional information on this arrest, including date and location of his arrest as well as the official charges against Quintero.