A Columbus man and woman, both recently indicted for charges related to possession of the potent synthetic opioid carfentanil after being arrested by the Hilliard Division of Police, have been arraigned in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.
Court records indicate a $1 million surety bond was set for Alexis C. Hennen, 20, and Anthony L. Taylor, 22, on Friday, Nov. 22.
A Franklin County grand jury on Nov. 15 indicted Hennen and Taylor, both of Miller Avenue, for trafficking in drugs, a first-degree felony, and possession of drugs, a first-degree felony. Each also was charged with a firearm specification, according to common-pleas court records.
“We think this is the first time Hilliard police have had a case involving carfentanil,” said Andrea Litchfield, a police spokeswoman.
The couple were arrested by Hilliard officers Nov. 7 at their Columbus residence on the 900 block of Miller Avenue. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation.
“Our investigations sometimes lead us out of the city,” Litchfield said. “We follow the source of drugs from crimes in Hilliard when making arrests.”
Detectives also found needles, marijuana, guns and cash, all in close proximity to the couple’s two young children, according to Hilliard police.
Additional charges stemmed from the completion of testing on a substance investigators first believed to be fentanyl.
On Nov. 14, laboratory results from the Ohio Bureau of Investigation revealed the substance seized was not fentanyl but 24.99 grams of carfentanil, according to Hilliard police.
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, carfentanil is used as a tranquilizing agent for elephants and other large mammals, and it is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times stronger than fentanyl.
The amount of carfentanil seized in this case could kill 850,000 to 1.2 million people, Hilliard police said.
Like fentanyl, carfentanil is sold as a white powdery substance or in pill form, and it often is combined with other drugs, such as heroin.
Hennen and Taylor are facing a mandatory prison term if convicted of either first-degree felony. Because guns were used in the drug possession and trafficking, an additional year of prison could be added to the terms, Litchfield said.
Both Hennen and Taylor had prior arrest records.
Hennen was arrested last year by the Columbus Division of Police for possession of controlled substances, according to court records.
Taylor has been arrested on several prior charges, including by the Grove City Division of Police in March for driving without a license, a 12-point suspended license, felony fleeing and endangering children, and by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in February 2019 for felony fleeing.
As of 1:30 p.m. Nov. 22, Hennen and Taylor remained in custody at the Franklin County jail, according to authorities.