MIAMI (CBSMiami) — An alleged drug dealer is off the streets and authorities have seized more than two kilograms of opiates in a long-term joint narcotics investigation.
The Miami-Dade Police Department arrested Luis Manuel Charchabal, 55, on Thursday. A convicted felon, Charchabal allegedly had 2.5 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl in his possession.
Through a series of transactions with a police informant in January and February, Charchabal sold up to 31 grams of heroin per exchange, worth between $1,500 and $2,200, according to an arrest report.
During one transaction, Charchabal explained the deadly potency of another drug he had for sale, fentanyl, which he called “China White.” He offered two kilos for $50,000 each.
Charchabal allegedly told the police informant that if there was someone he didn’t like, he could give them a “little dose of it to watch them fall.”
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain medication designed as an intravenous anesthetic for hospital use in the 1960’s, is estimated to be 50 to 80 times stronger than heroin and an amount the size of 3 grains of sugar could kill an adult.
Given the deadly nature of the drug, special precautions were taken in handling and field-testing the suspected substance to protect the safety of the arresting police officers.
“Selling Fentanyl is selling death by a different name”, said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “The opioid epidemic that America, Florida and Dade County are all experiencing is made possible by those individuals who see illegal profits as more important than human life. In this community, we will continue to fight such drug dealers on the streets and work to end addiction through our drug court. Working hand-in-hand with the Miami-Dade Police Department, we have potentially saved thousands of lives with this superb investigation. These officers deserve the thanks of the entire community.”
A feisty Charchabal told the bond court judge the detective in his case is a snitch, but it didn’t get him very far.
“Your honor has set a bond of $1 million?” an attorney asked.
“Yes I have,” the judge responded.
Charchabal faces three counts each of including possession of fentanyl with intent to deliver and illegal trafficking of heroin.