Authorities arrested three people in San Francisco accused of manufacturing and selling illegal fentanyl, a highly potent opiate.
Federal prosecutors say 39-year-old Kia Zolfaghari, of San Francisco, allegedly had a pill press in his Sunset District apartment on 44th Avenue. He used the press to make fentanyl-laced pills he sold through an online marketplace as oxycodone.
United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch said Zolfaghari, his wife, 38-year-old Candelaria Dagandan Vazquez, and King Edward Harris II, of Oxnard, were arrested Friday after selling more than 1,500 pills to a person working for law enforcement.
Vazquez, of San Francisco, is accused of conspiring with Zolfaghari to carry out his drug trafficking operation, delivering packages of pills for mailing and accepting payments through her bank account. Harris allegedly brokered sales in a series of recorded calls with the confidential source and hand-delivering two of those purchases.
The three suspects appeared in federal court Monday.
If convicted, they face decades behind bars and millions of dollars in fines.
Although we don’t know that it’s directly related, back in April, 14 people in Sacramento overdosed and died after taking fake prescription painkillers.
Soon after, seven people were treated for overdoses in San Francisco.
They all survived, but in each case, the pills they took were tainted with fentanyl.