Casa Grande police seized approximately 500,000 fentanyl pills from two Phoenix women after a traffic stop last week.
“On Monday May 23rd, at approximately 5:42 p.m., a Casa Grande Police Department K9 officer and K9 Deutz conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 10 near Casa Grande. The vehicle, a black SUV, was stopped for speeding and the driver was identified as Martha Lopez. Tania Luna Solis was a passenger along with two juvenile passengers. During the traffic stop, K9 Deutz and his handler discovered approximately 500,000 Fentanyl pills concealed in collagen supplement bottles. Additionally, one handgun and a large amount of U.S. currency was discovered,” according to a press release from the City of Casa Grande Police Department.
Lopez, 31, and Solis, 30, were arrested and booked for charges involving narcotic drugs, weapon misconduct, and child endangerment. Authorities placed the two juveniles from the vehicle in the custody of the Department of Child Safety.
“The transport and sale of drugs in our community affects us all. It is hard to quantify the number of lives this investigation has saved, but I am sure we are making a difference. Our officers are combating this issue daily and I commend their efforts, especially knowing our K9 who was recently bitten by a rattlesnake is already back in full service,” said City of Casa Grande Police Chief Mark McCrory.
This seizure is not the only recent fentanyl bust in Arizona.
“Excellent job Nogales officers for safeguarding our borders and seizing 160,000 fentanyl pills hidden in the quarter panels of a vehicle. Job well done,” tweeted Port Director Michael Humphries on Wednesday.
— Port Director Michael W. Humphries (@CBPPortDirNOG) May 26, 2022
The approximate value of the fentanyl sized at the Nogales port is $500,000.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) tweeted a response to the news of the seizure.
“Arizona is thankful to have such dedicated law enforcement and Border Patrol officers that safeguard our communities,” tweeted Ducey.
Arizona is thankful to have such dedicated law enforcement and Border Patrol officers that safeguard our communities. https://t.co/dwQZrW0cZ8
— Doug Ducey (@DougDucey) May 27, 2022
The Arizona Criminal Justice Commission released a newsletter in 2021 detailing why fentanyl is dangerous for Arizona.
“Fentanyl is the most common substance found in opioid overdose deaths in Arizona – teens as young as 14 years old have overdosed and died. Illegal fentanyl is being mixed with other drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. This is especially dangerous because people are often unaware that fentanyl has been added,” according to the newsletter.
According to the Pima County Health Department, in 2021, fentanyl was responsible for the most drug overdose deaths, beating methamphetamine and cocaine.
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Neil Jones is a reporter for the Arizona Sun Times and Star News Media. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Casa Grande Police Department” by Casa Grande Police Department.