Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Nebraska police seize enough fentanyl to kill 26 million people

Nebraska police seize enough fentanyl to kill 26 million people

Police in Nebraska, USA, have seized 118lbs of pure fentanyl, making it one of the largest seizures in the country's history - enough to kill more than 26 million people, according to government estimates.

The incident occurred April 26, 2018 on Interstate 80 near Kearney, Nebraska, according to SFGate.

"Like heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs, fentanyl works by binding to the body's opioid receptors, which are found in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions", according to the DEA.

The Nebraska State Patrol said on Facebook that the recent bust was the "largest fentanyl seizure in Nebraska history (by far) and one of the largest ever in the United States".

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid over 30 times more potent than heroin, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Ricketts points out troopers didn't just seize almost a ton of marijuana in one traffic stop, but also seized more than 100 pounds of fentanyl in another bust. The trooper followed the truck with emergency lights for two miles before the truck finally pulled over. Nebraska State Patrol Col. John Bolduc said that the troopers became suspicious of a semi-truck that was driving on the shoulder lane, prompting them to search the vehicle, which eventually led to the discovery of the illicit drugs concealed in a hidden compartment.

The state officials initially thought the discovered substance was cocaine but the testings proved that the drugs were "entirely fentanyl".

Inside, he found dozens of foil-wrapped packages.

"If you take that much fentanyl off the streets, you are saving lives", Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said.

The driver of the truck, Felipe Genao-Minaya, 46, and passenger, Nelson Nunez, 52 - both of New Jersey - were arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and no Drug Tax stamp.

The amount was sufficient to kill greater than 26 million folks, the Kansas Metropolis Star reported. Both men have since been charged in connection to the crime, according the Buffalo County Attorney's office. Troopers have seized more than 4,300 pounds of marijuana, which exceeds yearly totals for every year since 2012.

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