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Hernando man had enough fentanyl to kill half a million people, deputies say

The man also faces charges for possessing of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and oxycodone, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
David Gayle, 43, of Brooksville, faces charges of being in possession of 2.2 pounds of fentanyl, which is enough to kill half a million people, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
David Gayle, 43, of Brooksville, faces charges of being in possession of 2.2 pounds of fentanyl, which is enough to kill half a million people, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. [ Hernando County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Apr. 28, 2020
Updated Apr. 29, 2020

BROOKSVILLE — David Gayle was arrested Friday for having enough fentanyl to potentially kill more than 500,000 people, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies obtained a warrant to search the 43-year-old’s Brooksville home on Friday and said they found more than 2.2 pounds of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is fatal when taken in high doses, and methamphetamine. They also found half an ounce of hashish and small amounts of cocaine, oxycodone and marijuana, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

That’s enough fentanyl and methamphetamine to create 500,000 “potentially fatal” doses, the agency said.

“Anyone who believes that illegal drug trafficking is a victimless crime does not understand the killing power in the roughly 2 pounds of drugs seized during this particular investigation," said Hernando Sheriff Al Nienhuis in a Facebook post. “We can never measure what we prevent, but it is a very good bet that this quantity of fentanyl would have resulted in a number of overdose deaths right here in Hernando County.”

Gayle now faces one count each of trafficking in fentanyl and methamphetamine, and separate charges of possession of cocaine, marijuana, oxycodone, drug paraphernalia and possession in a structure known for manufacturing drugs with a child present.

In addition to those charges, deputies said Gayle also had outstanding arrest warrants for two counts of the sale of heroin within 1,000 feet on a place of worship, possession of heroin with intent to sell, possession of conveyance for sale of heroin, possession of paraphernalia and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.

He was being held without bail Wednesday in the Hernando County jail.