By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A car carrying 24 pounds of suspected fentanyl worth about $150 million was stopped east of Cheyenne last week by the Wyoming Highway Patrol, the patrol announced.
Patrol officials announced Tuesday the discovery was made after a man was stopped for speeding east of Cheyenne.
After stopping a 2021 Hyundai Kona on Friday east of Cheyenne on Interstate 80, a trooper became suspicious of criminal activity when the driver provided inconsistent and implausible travel plans.
The trooper detained the driver and deployed a K-9 around the exterior of the car. The dog gave an alert to an odor inside the vehicle.
A search inside the car was conducted, and the trooper found approximately 24 pounds of suspected fentanyl, a highly potent opioid, inside the vehicle. The estimated street value of the drug was $150 million.
The driver, Diego J. Aguilar-Valdovinos, was arrested and charged with felony transportation, distribution and possession of narcotics.
The seized fentanyl has been placed in a controlled environment pending laboratory testing due to health safety concerns.
“Fentanyl has become more of a prevalent drug in recent years and can be lethal for law enforcement and first responders who come in contact with it,” the WHP said in a social media post. “Individuals can experience potentially fatal effects from minimal amounts of the drug. If Fentanyl is taken in conjunction with other opiates, its lethal dose is even smaller. To put it into perspective, two milligrams of Fentanyl can be deadly to a human.”