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Tempe police, federal agents haul in 30,000 fentanyl pills during traffic stop

(AP File Photo)

PHOENIX — Police and federal agents in Tempe said they seized 30,000 fentanyl pills during a recent traffic stop.

Authorities said the pills had been disguised to resemble oxycodone — blue and stamped with the letter M and the number 30 — and were confiscated Sunday.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents have been working an operation against a drug trafficking organization they said had ties to a Mexican cartel.

A search of a vehicle led to uncovering the fentanyl-laced pills.

DEA officials told KGUN-TV news in Tucson it was the largest seizure of fentanyl tablets in Arizona history.

Medical professionals said fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid drug was up to 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has declared opioid addiction to be a state health emergency.

Opioid overdoses jumped 16 percent last year from 2015.

“We’re going to do everything that we can from a government perspective here,” Ducey told KTAR News92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos in June.

“We’ve limited first-fill of opioids to prescriptions that the government is paying for,” he said. “We’re working with Walgreens so people can return their unused opioids so that they don’t get out into the system.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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