Michigan state police bust California driver with enough deadly drug to kill about one-third of the state
Michigan State Police (MSP) on Tuesday busted a California driver who had allegedly smuggled fentanyl across the state.
State Troopers assigned to MSP’s Hometown Security Team (HST) pulled over a vehicle driving eastbound on I-94 in Paw Paw Township around 9:40 a.m. Tuesday. Troopers say the vehicle had a cracked windshield and the driver did not change lanes properly.
While searching the vehicle, troopers found four kilos of fentanyl stuffed in a duffle bag, according to the agency. Each kilo, they said, was wrapped in an individual heat-sealed bag.
Information obtained during the investigation led authorities to a “second venue” where they discovered two additional kilos of suspected fentanyl and around $30,000 in cash.
MSP said the driver was a 25-year-old man from California who had been transporting or smuggling fentanyl into Michigan.
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He was arrested and booked in the Van Buren County Jail on possession with intent to deliver more than 1,000 grams of fentanyl.
HST said Tuesday marked the largest seizure of fentanyl on a traffic stop in Michigan’s history. Per MSP, the quantity of fentanyl pills seized had a total street value of around $9 million.
The synthetic opioid – originally released to the public in the 1960s as a pain-relieving intravenous anesthetic – is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
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The agency has repeatedly warned the public that “just one pill can kill,” which would mean the quantity of fentanyl seized on Tuesday was enough to kill three million people potentially.
“In total, this seizure will undoubtedly save lives,” MSP said.
Deadly drug overdoses related to fentanyl claimed more than 70,000 American lives in 2021 according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed earlier this week that fentanyl seizures have reached “historic lows.”
Illicit fentanyl primarily originates in China, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, and is smuggled into the United States via the southern border with Mexico.