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Deputies find 18,000 fentanyl pills through 2 traffic stops in Yavapai County

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office said two traffic stops led to three people arrested on drug charges and thousands of pills believed to be fentanyl seized.

YAVAPAI COUNTY, Ariz. — Deputies say about 18,000 fentanyl pills are off the streets this week in Yavapai County. 

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said deputies have found the illicit drugs recently during traffic stops. 

Crystal Briley, who according to Yavapai County is from Ohio, was arrested with about 8,000 fentanyl pills along with cocaine and marijuana last Tuesday. 

The sheriff’s office also said Leon Carlos-Uriel and Bryan Contreras Angulo, both from Phoenix had 10,000 pills, suspected to be fentanyl, in their vehicle last Wednesday. 

All three of them are now facing multiple drug charges. 

“My first thought that goes through my mind is how many people that could actually kill,” Merilee Fowler, executive director of MATFORCE, an anti-drug coalition, said. 

Fowler said she’s watched the opioid crisis unfold from people abusing prescription drugs to heroin and now to fentanyl. 

Fowler adds she’s concerned with fentanyl because of the reality that one pill can be the difference between life and death. 

“I’ve been in this field for 14 years and I’ve never been as scared as I am now for our country and because of this dangerous high potency fentanyl that we’re dealing with,” Fowler said. 

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, fentanyl has the highest fatality percentage of all opioids in the last three years. 

“It’s becoming a drug of choice,” Fowler said. “It’s extremely scary to think of the danger that is coming into our communities.”