January 20, 2019

Nebraska Fentanyl Bust Could Have Killed 26 Million

28 May 2018, 02:35 | Randall Craig

Fentanyl Bust in Nebraska - Enough Doses to Kill About 26 Million People

Gov. Ricketts Thanks State Patrol for Busting Drugs

The total weight of 118 pounds makes the seizure the largest in Nebraska history and one of the largest ever recorded in the entire country.

The fentanyl was found about 10:20 a.m. April 26 when troopers stopped an eastbound 2013 Freightliner semitrailer truck driving on the shoulder near mile marker 280.

Fentanyl is an opioid that is almost 100 times stronger than morphine and up to 50 times stronger than heroin.

The seizure marked the largest fentanyl bust in the history of Nebraska, Nebraska State Patrol said on Twitter.

Police found the fentanyl in a fake compartment of a lorry.

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and up to 50 times more potent than heroin.

Fentanyl has received increased attention in recent years as a contributor to the country's opioid crisis, which kills an average of 115 Americans each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The trooper followed the truck with emergency lights for two miles before the truck finally pulled over.

The drugs seized in the Nebraska bust have a street value of approximately $20 million, Nebraska State Patrol Col. John Bolduc told The Washington Post. The compartment contained 42 foil-wrapped packages containing 118lbs of powdery substance that turned out to be fentanyl.

The 46-year-old truck driver, Felipe Genao-Minaya, and his 52-year-old passenger Nelson Nunez - both from New Jersey - were arrested on charges of suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.

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

Gov. Pete Ricketts honored the agency and specific troopers who took part in the drug busts during a ceremony that was held at the State Capitol on Thursday.

The quantity was enough to kill more than 26 million people, the Kansas City Star reported. Both men were lodged in Buffalo County Jail. The police officers showed symptoms of overdose after exposure to fentanyl found in a cigarette box inside the vehicle.

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