Federal drug agents intercepted a massive shipment of fentanyl that was headed to Detroit from Grand Rapids this week: It was enough to kill nearly everyone in Michigan, the feds say.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, authorities seized 20 kilograms — more than 40 pounds — of the potent painkiller during a traffic stop in metro Detroit late Wednesday evening. A fatal dosage of fentanyl is 2 mg — so 20 kilograms could potentially kill 10 million people, which is roughly the size of Michigan.
Exactly where the fentanyl was seized was not disclosed, though the DEA in Detroit said the drugs were produced in Mexico, made their way to Grand Rapids, and then ended up in metro Detroit late Wednesday.
Kent County investigators had tipped the DEA off about the shipment, which was in powder form. So when the drugs arrived in metro Detroit, the DEA and local authorities were waiting.
According to the DEA, federal agents and local authorities arrested the alleged courier, a woman from Ohio. They also seized a gun, the DEA announced Friday.
The Ohio woman’s identity was not disclosed. The DEA said she was acting at the behest of other individuals believed to have ties to a Mexican cartel. According to the DEA, those unidentified suspects dispatched the Ohio woman to complete the delivery to metro Detroit.
“Drug cartels like CJNG and Sinaloa attempt to flood our communities with illicit drugs,” Detroit’s DEAchief Orville Greene said in a statement Friday. “We will continue to work vigorously to identify other associates tied to the delivery of this fentanyl that would have caused untold suffering had it reached its intended destination.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 107,000 Americans died over the last year from drug poisonings — with 66% of those deaths involving synthetic opioids including fentanyl. CJNG and the Sinaloa cartels use chemicals largely sourced from China, the DEA says, and are primarily responsible for the vast majority of fentanyl trafficked in the U.S.