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Phoenix police takes down drug ring, 14 suspects indicted

Over 500,000 fentanyl pills were seized by Phoenix police during the year-long investigation.

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department announced Wednesday it had dismantled a drug trafficking organization that had been smuggling narcotics over the Arizona-Mexico border.

Last year, the agency opened an investigation into an international trafficking network allegedly responsible for transporting large amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine into the Phoenix area. The drugs were then getting distributed locally and nationally to other locations. 

The year-long investigation resulted in Phoenix investigators seizing over 500,000 fentanyl pills, 130 pounds of methamphetamine, 13 firearms, 13 cars, and over $135,000 in cash.

Fourteen suspects allegedly involved in the trafficking organization have been indicted for various drug crimes, police said. 

RELATED: 'We can't tell how much is manufactured': How much fentanyl is not getting seized in Arizona?

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How big is Maricopa County?

Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census. 

The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire). 

One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds. 

The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States. 

The county was named after the Maricopa, or Piipaash, Native American Tribe.  

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