Potent opioid seized from Columbus couple enough to kill 1 million people, police say

Potent opioid seized from Columbus couple enough to kill 1 million people, police say
Alexis Hennen, 20, and Anthony Taylor, 22, have been charged with drug trafficking and drug possession following a Nov. 7 bust. (Source: Hilliard Division of Police)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOIO) - A Columbus couple is facing high-level drug charges after the Hilliard Division of Police determined the couple was in possession of carfentanil, a synthetic opioid that’s 100 times more powerful than fentanyl.

Alexis Hennen, 20, and Anthony Taylor, 22, have been charged with drug trafficking and drug possession, both first-degree felonies. They were indicted on the charges Friday in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, according to a Hilliard Police Facebook post.

On Thursday, officers from the Columbus-area suburb received the laboratory results from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which confirmed the drug seized from the couple was carfentanil.

The DEA says carfentanil, which is used as a tranquilizing agent for elephants and other large mammals, is 10,000 times more potent than morphine. The amount of carfentanil seized in this case -- 25 grams -- could kill about 1 million people.

A lethal dose of carfentanil is barely visible to the naked eye.

A lethal dose of carfentanil is barely visible to the naked eye.
A lethal dose of carfentanil is barely visible to the naked eye. (Source: Hilliard Division of Police)

Like fentanyl, carfentanil is sold as a white powdery substance, or in pill form, and is often combined with other drugs like heroin.

Hennen and Taylor are facing a mandatory prison term if convicted of either charge.

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