A Chicago man had more than six pounds of fentanyl — equal to about 1.5 million fatal doses — and a gun in the trunk of a car this week, prosecutors said.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is often mixed with street drugs. Authorities suspect its presence in illicit narcotics may be the driving force behind an increase in drug overdose deaths.
Chicago police conducted surveillance on a tan Pontiac last week after a confidential informant told them that David Tyler, 40, had fentanyl in the vehicle, Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher Cromydas said.
Investigators allegedly watched as Tyler placed a fake Minnesota license plate on the car and drove off.
When police pulled the Pontiac over, he got out of the car and began walking away. Officers detained Tyler and took him into custody because he could not produce a driver’s license and insurance, Cromydas said.
They found three kilos of fentanyl and a loaded firearm in the trunk, according to Cromydas, who said CPD estimated the drug to have a street value of $582,397.
Judge Mary Marubio called the drug stash’s alleged value “the record of the day … and it’s fentanyl on top of it.”
Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood said Tyler is the father of two adult children.
Marubio set bail at $75,000. Tyler must post 10% of that amount to get out of jail.
Luis Agostini, spokesperson for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in Chicago, said last week that 40% of counterfeit pills seized by the agency in 2020 tested positive for a fatal amount of fentanyl.
Two milligrams of the substance is considered to be a lethal dose — “equivalent to just a few grains of table salt,” Agostini said in a tweet.