Arizona DPS troopers seize about 262 pounds of fentanyl pills in span of a week

Nov 21, 2023, 10:19 AM | Updated: 12:40 pm

PHOENIX — Arizona state troopers seized about 262 pounds of fentanyl pills during multiple incidents over a weeklong stretch earlier this month, authorities said.

Eight suspects were arrested on charges related to the illegal drugs in four cases, the Arizona Department of Public Safety announced Monday.

An estimated 1.18 million pills were confiscated. Investigators believe the drugs were bound for Phoenix, Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Some of the pills seized tested positive for xylazine, a cheap sedative that dealers use to cut fentanyl that increases the risk of overdose, DPS said.

When and where did Arizona DPS troopers seize fentanyl pills?

The first case occurred Nov. 7 on the outskirts of suburban Phoenix, when 53 pounds of fentanyl pills were found hidden in a spare tire after a traffic stop near Fountain Hills.

The next day, a drug-sniffing dog alerted troopers to about 104.5 pounds of pills concealed in two boxes after a vehicle was stopped for a traffic violation in the Wellton area, east of Yuma.

Then on Nov. 10, a canine helped uncover 25 pounds of pills stashed in a backpack during a traffic stop in the Joseph City area in northeastern Arizona.

The fourth seizure took place on Nov. 14, when a trooper found about 79.5 pounds of suspected fentanyl in a spare tire in the Eloy area, between Phoenix and Tucson.

Two suspects were arrested in each of the four cases.

“Thank you to Department of Public Safety troopers for keeping our communities safe from the deadly fentanyl epidemic. Through vigilance and hard work, DPS prevented hundreds of pounds of fentanyl pills from being released into the streets and have potentially saved countless lives,” Gov. Katie Hobbs said in a press release.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report erroneously said the Nov. 7 incident occurred in Fountain Hills. The actual location was not within the town boundaries.

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Arizona DPS troopers seize about 262 pounds of fentanyl pills in span of a week