Arizona troopers seized about 262 pounds of fentanyl pills across the state Nov. 7-14, arresting eight suspects during traffic stops.
The first seizure occurred on Nov. 7, when a traffic stop near Fountain Hills for multiple civil traffic violations led to the discovery of 53 pounds of fentanyl pills concealed in a spare tire, according to an Arizona Department of Public Safety release. Both the driver and passenger were arrested and booked into the Maricopa County Jail.
On Nov. 8, a trooper stopped a driver in the Wellton area for a civil traffic violation. During the stop, a drug detection canine led troopers to find 104.52 pounds of fentanyl pills concealed in boxes. Two suspects were arrested on drug-related charges, DPS officials said.
On Nov. 10, a trooper “observed indicators of criminal activity during a traffic stop” in the Joseph City area, the release stated. A subsequent alert from a canine led to the discovery of 25 pounds of fentanyl pills stashed in a backpack. Two suspects were arrested on drug-related charges.
Finally, during a traffic stop in the Eloy area on Nov. 14, a trooper located approximately 79.5 pounds of suspected fentanyl pills hidden inside a spare tire. Both the driver and passenger were booked into jail on drug-related charges.
Some of the pills seized tested positive for xylazine, a sedative that places users at a higher risk of suffering a fatal drug poisoning, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
The combined total of approximately 262.02 pounds of fentanyl pills seized in these incidents equals about 1.18 million pills, authorities said.
Investigators believe the pills were bound for Albuquerque, Phoenix and Chicago.