A disturbing report from the Metro Nashville Police Department Crime Laboratory underscores the danger and risk associated with opiate/opioid abuse.
In late May, more than five pounds of what was thought to be heroin in brick form destined for Nashville's streets was intercepted by Specialized Investigations Division narcotics detectives and the DEA after it arrived here from San Diego. The laboratory analysis of the brown solid material shows it to be not heroin, but the opioid Fentanyl. While the testing showed the Fentanyl to be less than 25% pure, it is nevertheless potent enough to equate to more than 100,000 fatal doses.
The investigation by Metro detectives and federal agents showed that Brianda Zuniga-Ramirez, 22, and Evelyn Vasquez, 24, both of San Diego, were being paid to drive the Fentanyl from Southern California to Nashville. Once here, they met with Julio Garcia, 43, of San Diego, and convicted Nashville cocaine felon Jeff Nelson, 46, of Madison (who received a 12-year sentence in May 2013). As the meeting took place, law enforcement moved in and arrested all four. In addition to the Fentanyl and a quantity of black tar heroin, $2,000 cash was seized.