Two Elizabeth City brothers are charged with trafficking fentanyl after law enforcement seized more than 55 grams of the powerful opioid from a local hotel room where they allegedly were storing and selling the drug.

Ronald Darnell Dashiell Jr. and Brandon Jamal Dashiell, both of the 200 block of Katie’s Trail, were arrested Friday following a joint operation involving the Pasquotank Sheriff’s Office, the Elizabeth City Police Department, the State Bureau of Investigation and the Dare County Sheriff’s Office, Pasquotank Sheriff Tommy Wooten said in a press release Tuesday.

Wooten said an investigation of the Dashiells began after a local citizen complained that someone was using an Elizabeth City hotel room to store and sell fentanyl.

Though it can be sold in prescription form, fentanyl can also be used illegally, Wooten said. While typically injected or snorted like heroin, fentanyl can be “50 to 100 times more potent,” which can lead to overdose and even death, he said.

Following an investigation involving all four agencies, Pasquotank deputies stopped a vehicle operated by Ronald Dashiell on Friday and took him into custody, Wooten said. City police officers, executing a search warrant, took Brandon Dashiell into custody following a search of the hotel room.

Wooten said deputies seized $6,000 in cash from the vehicle and police seized most of the 55 grams of fentanyl from the hotel room. The fentanyl had a street value of approximately $6,000, he said.

Ronald Dashiell, 31, is charged with one count of felony trafficking Schedule II of a controlled substance, one count of felony maintaining a dwelling for the sale or possession of a controlled substance and one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Brandon Dashiell, 26, is charged with one felony count of possession with intent to sell or deliver Schedule II of a controlled substance.

A Pasquotank magistrate set Ronald Dashiell’s secured bond at $22,000 and Brandon Dashiell’s secured bond at $10,000. Both men were transported to Albemarle District Jail where they later were released on bond.

According to Wooten’s release, the FBI has joined the investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will likely issue either a federal complaint or indictment against both Dashiells and “others conspiring with them.”

Both Dashiells have previous arrest records, Wooten said.