500,000 fentanyl pills seized in Arizona traffic stop


CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (AP) — Two women have been arrested after approximately 500,000 fentanyl tablets were found in an SUV stopped for speeding on Interstate 10 in Arizona, police said.

The seized pills were found concealed in collagen supplement bottles on Monday during a search that also revealed a handgun and a large amount of cash, police in the small town of Casa Grande south of Phoenix in a statement.

Overdose deaths in the United States have been increasing in most years for more than two decades. The rise began in the 1990s with overdoses of opioid painkillers, followed by waves of deaths from other opioids like heroin and, more recently, illicit fentanyl.

Last year, overdoses of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids topped 71,000, up 23% from the previous year. There was also a 23% increase in deaths involving cocaine and a 34% increase in deaths involving methamphetamine and other stimulants.

Over a two-month period in Arizona late last year, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, working with Arizona law enforcement, seized over 3 million fentanyl tablets. , 45 kilograms (99 pounds) of fentanyl powder and 35 firearms. Forty people were arrested.

In the Arizona traffic stop, Martha Lopez, 31, and Tania Luna Solis, 30, were arrested on suspicion of crimes, including possession of a narcotic for sale, according to police.

Court records do not list attorneys who could comment on behalf of the women, who are from Phoenix.

Two children in the vehicle were turned over to state child protection officials, police said.


Comments are closed.