'Staggering:' Highlands deputies seize enough fentanyl to kill 40,000 people

Deputies say they took a dangerous amount of fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine off the streets of Highlands County in what they called “one of the largest drug seizures in recent memory.”

It was around 7:40 p.m. Sunday when a deputy pulled over a Ford Focus that was driving with a tail light out. K-9 officer ‘Gentry’ sniffed around the outside of the car and indicated there were drugs inside.

The sheriff’s office said a subsequent search of the car turned up a “staggering” amount of drugs, including:

  • 554 grams of heroin
  • 450 grams of cocaine
  • 99.6 grams of fentanyl
  • 975 oxycodone pills
  • 107 Xanax pills
  • 90 vape pens with liquid THC
Drugs and weapons allegedly seized in a Highlands County bust (HCSO photo)

Drugs and weapons allegedly seized in a Highlands County bust (HCSO photo)

According to deputies, a dose of 2 to 3 milligrams of fentanyl is enough to be deadly, meaning there was enough of the drug to kill 40,000 people.

“To put that in perspective, that would be enough to kill nearly 40 percent of the people in Highlands County,” an HCSO spokesperson noted.

The sheriff’s office estimated the street value of the fentanyl as $15,000. Along with the $20,000 of cocaine, $40,000 of oxycodone, and $45,000 of heroin, and the total seizure was worth $120,000.

Photo via HCSO

The driver, 40-year-old Ruben Ramirez-Rivera, was arrested on several charges and was being held without bond.

“I’m very proud of the work done by the deputies involved in this arrest,” Sheriff Paul Blackman said in a press rleease. “To take this amount of drugs off the street is a huge accomplishment, and our county is safer because of it.”