An Arizona state trooper conducted a simple traffic stop last week and discovered approximately 30,000 fentanyl pills belonging to the two men in the vehicle, authorities said Sunday.
The state trooper pulled over Manuel Carrillo Serrano and Alan Aguilar, both age 25, in a Chevrolet Cobalt on I-10 in Casa Grande which is located about 50 miles south of Phoenix, according to the Department of Public Safety.
After pulling the men over, the officer discovered three wrapped bundles inside the vehicle containing 8.2 pounds – or about 30,000 pills – of fentanyl.
Carrillo Serrano and Aguilar were arrested and charged with suspicion of transportation of narcotic drugs for sale, authorities said. Both men were being held at the Pinal County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S.
Fentanyl is a major contributor to the opioid crisis in the U.S., with synthetic opioids accounting for nearly 73% of all opioid-involved deaths in 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.