Man arrested after accidentally leaving bag with 15,000 fentanyl pills behind at Seattle hotel
The Seattle Police Department recovered a duffel bag containing 15,000 fentanyl pills on Thursday.
The bag was left behind by a 23-year-old man who had stayed at a hotel in downtown Seattle, and was initially discovered by a housekeeper cleaning the guest’s room after he had checked out. The hotel’s manager looked inside the duffel in attempt to identify its owner, happening upon thousands of pills in a large plastic bag.
The manager then called the police, who took the bag and pills to log them into evidence. Just as officers were beginning that process, the hotel received a call from the owner of the bag, informing them that he was returning to retrieve his lost duffel.
The man was arrested by police shortly after arriving back at the hotel “without incident.”
Fentanyl is commonly found in counterfeit pills made to look like prescription opiates like oxycodone. The risk comes from the fact that fentanyl is anywhere from 30 to 50 times as strong as pure heroin, and a dose the size of a few grains of salt can be fatal.
In mid-January, local health officials sounded the alarm after seeing the highest ever documented number of overdose deaths in a two-week period the county has ever seen. Those concerns persisted in the following months, with fentanyl-related deaths in King County in 2021 already exceeding totals in any of the last nine years.
“We’re at the tail end of a wave that’s been building across the country, so we’ve gone from a low point to a high point quickly,” research scientist Caleb Banta-Green told UW Medicine in a Q&A in February.