Record-Setting Fentanyl Bust Could Have Killed Millions

By Lisa M. Schaffer, Esq. on February 01, 2019 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Fifty-six million lives were potentially saved this week in a record-setting drug bust near the Nogales, Arizona border crossing. The hero? A drug sniffing dog. Man's best friend sniffed out 254 pounds of fentanyl, along with 395 pounds of methamphetamine, hidden in the lower compartment of a tractor-trailer truck carrying cucumbers across the border from Mexico.

Though 85 percent of trafficked fentanyl comes into the United States near San Diego, a growing number of drug imports are now being seen at the Nogales crossing, presumably because it is nearest the Sinaloa cartel. This tractor-trailer was driven by a 26-year-old Hispanic man, who was subsequently arrested and charged with possessing drugs with the intent to distribute, which has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Authorities will surely question him to see where he was coming from, and of equal importance, where he was going.

Fentanyl -- 2 Milligrams Will Kill You

It's hard to imagine that 254 pounds of a substance has the potential to kill 56 million people. But this drug packs a stronger punch per gram than a nuclear bomb. Ingesting a mere two 2 milligrams of fentanyl, equivalent to a few grains of table salt, will kill a person. It is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. The substance is highly chemically addictive. Adding just a milligram to any dealer's heroin or cocaine to pack in an extra punch will create a customer for life, but that might not last very long.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that fentanyl is now the drug involved in most overdoses in America, responsible for over 28,400 overdose deaths in 2017. These overdoses are not just strung out drug addicts you may see in the park. Numerous celebrities, and even business people and neighbors, are overdosing on this powerful drug.

Nogales Bust Twice the Previous Record Bust in Nebraska

Prior to this arrest, the record for a fentanyl bust was 118 pounds, seized in Nebraska on April 26, 2018. The mode of transportation there was also a tractor-trailer. The driver, 46-year-old Felipe Genao-Minaya, and his passenger, 52-year-old Nelson Nunez, both from New Jersey, were also charged with possessing drugs with intent to distribute. Nebraska is far from the Mexican border, and from New Jersey. No word yet on where they were coming from, where they were going, and if they had already made stops along the way before being pulled over in Nebraska.

Drug crimes are serious business, from the small time dealer to the Sinaloa cartel. If you or someone you love has been charged with one, contact a local criminal defense attorney. These sorts of crimes can wreak havoc on your business and personal life. Investing in your defense could make a big different in the quality of your future.

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