Police: $23 million fentanyl bust is largest in Snohomish County history

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said the approximately $23 million fentanyl busted this week is the largest in county history.  The Snohomish County Regional Drug Task Force arrested two people this weekend with the drugs over the weekend. 

But fentanyl is also not your run-of-the-mill drug. Widely known, the drug is exponentially more powerful and dangerous than most other opioids. Investigators said the sheer amount recovered has the capability of killing 700,000 people.

Police recovered some of the drugs on Saturday at the Arlington airport. Court records say investigators first busted the man and woman with the drugs in their car.

But the scale of the bust wouldn’t be fully realized until police searched their home.

Fentanyl is especially dangerous because just a tiny amount can prove fatal.

“He was my son and I love him and in every particle of my being,” said Deborah Savran. 

Savran’s love for her son is eternal. Gabe Lilienthal, 17, died last September from an overdose of an opioid pill he took that had been laced with fentanyl.

Gabe was a straight-'A' student in Ballard and planned to study business and finance at an Australian college, but his dreams and his life were cut short.

“It’s just one of the many pandemics going on in our planet,” said Savran.

“The majority being sold looks like a prescription pill,” said Caleb Banta-Green, principal research scientist at the UW Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute.

Green said counterfeiters can press laced drugs into pill forms that look identical to drugs prescribed by your doctor. Plus, finding drugs laced with fentanyl on the street is happening more often.

The home where investigators made the massive bust last weekend was in Lynnwood. Inside, officials found 1,400 grams of fentanyl, 800 grams of heroin, 12 grams of meth, a pair of firearms and other materials including presses to manufacture and sell the drugs.

An investigator wrote in the report they found enough fentanyl that had the power to kill 700,000 people.

“This is nothing to mess around with,” said Savran.

Gabe’s death has not been linked to the recent fentanyl bust in Snohomish County

Savran is channeling the pain of his death into outreach, working with the city to craft education programs to spread the dangers of fentanyl.

“We have crossed the line with so many things in this world, this is an example of this,” said Savran.

The man arrested in this case is a convicted felon with a record of first-degree robbery and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. He and the woman arrested at the same time have not yet officially been charged with a crime.

A fentanyl overdose can be reversed if Narcan or naloxone is administered quickly. More information can be found here.