Members of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Nebraska State Patrol seized the largest amount of fentanyl ever in Nebraska, and it's one of the biggest busts in the nation.
Authorities seized 15 kilos, or roughly 33 pounds, of fentanyl — an estimated street value of $15 million — on Wednesday morning after authorities stopped a man with a suspicious bag on an Amtrak train in Omaha, Acting U.S Attorney Rob Stuart, DEA, and NSP said in a press conference Thursday.
The drug, usually mixed with other drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine, was in its purest form and had a street value of $15 million. Officials said an amount of fentanyl the size of three to five grains of salt could kill a person.
Edgar Navarro-Aguirre, 27, has been arrested for possession with intent to distribute. His ticket indicated he was going from California to Chicago. A press release from the office of Rob Stuart, Acting U.S Attorney, stated that the drugs were being transported to New York/New Jersey.
"Fentanyl is incredibly lethal, incredibly dangerous. It is a public health hazard to the highest degree,” Stuart said.
NSP says the number of drug-overdose deaths is quickly passing the number of motor-vehicle deaths in Nebraska.
The DEA says fentanyl, an opiod drug, is the most dangerous substance known in the drug world right now — 40 to 50 times more potent than heroin — and that many innocent lives were put in danger in the metro.
“If that train would've derailed and that would've come into contact and become airborne, there's no doubt it had the potential to kill absolutely everybody on that train, and probably everyone that responded to that train without a breathing apparatus," DEA Associate Special Agent in Charge Matthew Barden said.
The DEA says about 65,000 people in the U.S. die each from drug overdoses.
Navarro-Aguirre will be in federal court on Friday and faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and up to 20 years, if convicted. His photo won't be released by federal authorities.