Seized fentanyl sufficient to kill 26M folks, Nebraska police say

Seized fentanyl sufficient to kill 26M folks, Nebraska police say

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.

A trooper spotted a Freightliner tractor-trailer weaving April 26 onto the shoulder along the interstate and switched on his emergency lights, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

"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.

It was the largest seizure of fentanyl in state history, Nebraska State Patrol said in a Twitter post on Thursday.

Hazardous substance found hidden in the truck.

During the stop, a trooper became suspicious of criminal activity. Just two milligrams of the drug, equivalent to only a couple of grains of salt, is enough to kill a person, and even exposure to the opioid is extremely unsafe and potentially lethal.

Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl are the No. 1 killer in the opioid epidemic, according to a report released this month.


According to Nebraska State Patrol, troopers searched the vehicle and discovered a false compartment located in the empty trailer.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration said that just 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be deadly, which means that the amount of the drug that was taken into custody would be enough to kill 26.

Initially, the Nebraska state troopers believed they had discovered a large stash of cocaine.

A year ago the CDC said fentanyl was found in the bodies of the majority of people who died of opioid overdoses in 10 states during the second half of 2016.

In fact, he said, lab testing confirmed the substance - all 118 pounds of it - was fentanyl, which he said would be worth more than $20 million on the street.

The truck driver, 46-year-old Felipe Genao-Minaya, and his passenger, 52-year-old Nelson Nunez were arrested at the scene for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Both men have since been charged in connection to the crime, according the Buffalo County Attorney's office.

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