Michigan state troopers confiscated $9 million worth of fentanyl that a California driver was attempting to smuggle into the state Tuesday in a move officials said “undoubtedly” saved countless lives.
Troopers impounded six kilos, or roughly 3 million fentanyl pills, in the largest seizure of the deadly drug during a traffic stop in state history, police officials said.
They pulled over the unidentified 25-year-old male driver for improper lane use and driving with a cracked windshield on Interstate 94 in Paw Paw Township around 9:40 a.m.
They immediately suspected he was involved in criminal activity after pulling him over and searching his car, cops said.
The troopers discovered four kilos of blue fentanyl pills wrapped in heat-sealed bags and stuffed into a duffle bag in the car. After an investigation, the officers found two additional kilos of the deadly drug and $30,000 in cash at a second location.
The Californian’s massive stash of the drug — which is 50 times more potent than heroin — was enough to kill 3 million people, as just one pill can have deadly effects, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
“In total, this seizure will undoubtedly save lives, as it disrupted the distribution of around 3 million fentanyl-laced pills with a total street value of $9 million,” Michigan state police said.
The suspect was arrested and booked in Van Buren County jail on possession with intent to deliver more than 1,000 grams of fentanyl charges.
More than 150 people die every day from overdoses involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.