Two local men face federal charges after authorities said they found one kilogram of the powerful opioid fentanyl during a search warrant executed earlier this month in southwest Denver, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Gilbert Franco Garcia, 38, and Jesus Aviles-Higuera, 29, were charged Thursday with possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute. The release said both men are in custody and will be held pending a detention hearing scheduled for next week.
According to the release, Denver police executed a search warrant at 4860 West Mexico Ave. on Nov. 1 and found one kilogram of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be 50 times stronger than heroin. Drug dealers often lace it with other substances like cocaine and heroin. The fentanyl was found in a dark-colored brick; Denver police said it was the first time they had seen it in that form in the city.
Denver police also found 134 fentanyl pills, 454 grams of black tar heroin and 75 grams of cocaine.
Officers initially thought the brick was heroin and the pills were Oxycodone, though lab results revealed they were both fentanyl. The drug bust prompted Denver police and the city’s health department to issue a public health warning.
The release said Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter McNeilly will prosecute the case.