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Drug raid in Florence yields $640K of fentanyl

FLORENCE — The Lauderdale County Drug Task Force seized 64,000 fentanyl pills, 4 pounds of marijuana, and weapons from the execution of a search warrant Monday afternoon. They report the street value of the fentanyl to be more than $640,000.

Agents with the task force executed a search warrant at a residence at 414 Plum St. The search warrant was obtained due to the drug dealing activities of the occupants of the residence, authorities said Tuesday. A search of the residence revealed approximately 16 grams of crack cocaine and about 60 grams of fentanyl pills. They also found various pieces of paraphernalia.
“The investigation led agents to a hotel room in Florence,” authorities said in a news statement. “A search of the hotel room revealed approximately 11 pounds of fentanyl pills.

 

“Also located was approximately four pounds of marijuana and multiple firearms.”

Three people were arrested for trafficking of fentanyl in connection with the bust.

Malek Fonte Harris, 23, of Florence was charged with trafficking in fentanyl, and second degree marijuana possession. Tiffani Chimere Harris, 43, of Florence was arrested for drug possession with intent to distribute (cocaine) and second degree marijuana possession. Desmond Deshawn Powers, 35, of Florence was charged with trafficking in fentanyl and marijuana.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. The number of drug overdose deaths in Alabama more than doubled between August 2016 and August 2022. 

There is pending legislation in Alabama that would impose mandatory minimum sentences upon anyone convicted of trafficking fentanyl. 

If signed into law, the standard minimum for a conviction of trafficking between two and four grams would be 10 years in prison. Trafficking any amount above eight grams would be mandatory life in prison. 

The Florence Police Department, Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, Lauderdale County District Attorney’s Office and the Florence-Lauderdale Special Operations team assisted in the arrest.

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