Seized fentanyl enough to kill 26M people, Nebraska police say

Henrietta Strickland
May 27, 2018

Almost 120lbs (54kg) of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic painkiller, has been seized by police in Nebraska - one of the largest busts in United States history. "We can't even extrapolate out the number of lives that this particular bust has impacted".

According to the DEA website, as little as 2 milligrams is a lethal dosage in most people, which means the 118-pound seizure earlier this year would be enough to kill 26.8 million people.

The troopers did not immediately test the drugs due to the "dangerous nature of the substance", the Nebraska State Patrol said.

The semi was driving near the shoulder, and when stopped, "the trooper became suspicious of criminal activity".

According to Nebraska State Patrol, troopers searched the vehicle and discovered a false compartment located in the empty trailer. In an attempt to fight America's opioid epidemic, Graham introduced legislation that would increase the punishment for fentanyl distribution and trafficking.

The DEA says the value of the drugs is estimated at more than $20 million.

"Because of the risky nature of the substance, troopers do not perform field testing on suspected fentanyl", according to the statement, so the powder was sent to the Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab for confirmation. The Nebraska State Patrol says the compartment contained 42 packages wrapped in foil.

Matthew Barden of the Drug Enforcement Administration said that since October various law enforcement agencies in the state have taken 275 to 300 pounds of fentanyl off the streets.

"Out of a total of 5,152 opioid overdose deaths, nearly 3,000 tested positive for fentanyl, and over 700 tested positive for drugs that have similar chemical structures to fentanyl", the CDC said in October.

"Because of the unsafe nature of the substance, troopers do not perform field testing on suspected fentanyl", according to the statement, so the powder was sent to the Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab for confirmation.

The drugs initially tested positive for cocaine.

The driver, Felipe Genao-Minaya, and passenger Nelson Nunez were arrested. Both men have since been charged in connection to the crime, according the Buffalo County Attorney's office.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that between 2015 and 2016, the rate of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl had doubled.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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