- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) - Two Tewksbury residents have been charged with storing about 30 kilograms of the powerful narcotic painkiller fentanyl with a street value of about $3 million in their apartment.

Augustin Antonio Tejeda Ruis was held on $1 million bail and Hilda Gandia was held on $750,000 bail after pleading not guilty Monday to drug charges.

Authorities also seized about $20,000 in currency, as well as drug packaging material from the apartment during the execution of a search warrant Friday.

Prosecutors say large quantities of the suspected drugs were found in Ruis’ bedroom and concealed inside hidden compartments in two pieces of bedroom furniture.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan says fentanyl is more powerful than heroin and a major factor in the region’s opioid epidemic.

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