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A driver in Nevada was arrested earlier this month after police conducted a traffic stop and discovered 56 pounds of fentanyl hidden inside the vehicle, authorities said Tuesday.
An equipment violation led to the traffic stop on U.S. Highway 93 in White Pine County, about 20 miles north of Ely, the Nevada State Police said.
“During the stop, the trooper observed signs of possible criminal activity and requested consent to search the vehicle, which the driver consented to,” the agency said.
A Nevada Department of Wildlife game warden arrived and assisted the trooper in a search of the vehicle, which police said yielded about 56 pounds of suspected fentanyl.
The estimated street value of the suspected fentanyl was $3.6 million.
The suspect, whom police did not immediately name, was arrested and charged with multiple drug–related offenses.
Investigators did not immediately say where the fentanyl originated from or where it was being transported to.
On Friday, troopers in Arizona discovered 46 pounds of suspected fentanyl during a traffic stop. The drugs in that case were being smuggled from Nogales, Mexico, to the Phoenix area.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that “is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic,” according to the Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics estimates that there were 107,622 drug overdose deaths in 2021, with 71,238 of those deaths related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.