Last week, the Nebraska State Patrol found close to 120 pounds of fentanyl, making it the largest bust in the state’s history, as well as one of the largest in American history. In fact, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the amount of fentanyl found was enough to kill about 26 million individuals.
CNN reported that the situation arose during a routine traffic stop on April 26th. Troopers were suspicious of the semi-truck stopped, which was driving on the shoulder lane of Interstate 80, close to Kearney and decided to conduct a search. What ended up being found, in a hidden compartment of the vehicle, was a state record-breaking 118 pounds of the drug.
Initially, officers thought they had found cocaine, but after testing, fentanyl was revealed. The drugs weren’t initially tested, because of the dangerous element to fentanyl. In fact, the drug is a huge threat as it can be accidentally inhaled and can be absorbed through skin.
Felipe Genao-Minaya, 46 years of age has been identified as the driver of the truck and Nelson Nunez, 52 years of age was his passenger. Both men were arrested, charged with suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. The value of the drugs has been estimated at over $20 million dollars.
Two milligrams of the substance are considered a lethal dosage for most individuals. Fentanyl is said to be a powerful opioid that has approximately 50-100 times the potency of heroine.
While fentanyl is available for prescription by a doctor when it comes to pain relief, most of the overdoses are believed to be caused due to illicit production and distribution of the drug. In fact, synthetic opioids, like fentanyl are currently the number one killer within this opioid epidemic; this as per a report released in May. Moreover, the report revealed that deaths related to fentanyl have tripled over the 2010-2016 time period.
Good news is that these drugs were found and seized. Bad news? This just might be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dealing with this drug and those who illegally produce and distribute it.