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More than 42,000 fentanyl pills were seized during a traffic stop along I-20 in Smith County, Texas on Friday, February 17th. The driver of the vehicle was detained and arrested for possessing a huge amount of a controlled substance.

During the traffic stop, deputies discovered 9 pounds of the illegally manufactured drug that equated to more than 42,000 pills.

How were the fentanyl pills discovered?

During a normal traffic stop, the operator of the vehicle, Erik Marin Islas Angeles of Mexico, gave authorities consent to search the vehicle voluntarily. While conducting the search, deputies discovered a false compartment that was hiding the drug. Erik Angeles was taken into custody and booked into the Smith County Jail and is now being held on a $2 million bond.

Fentanyl has quickly become an epidemic throughout our nation. It is a drug that is extremely potent in nature, a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times more potent than morphine. It is produced legally and authorized by the FDA for doctors to prescribe it for pain, especially after surgery and for advanced stage cancer patients. However, the drug is being abused and is being manufactured illegally and combined with other drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines making it more potent and dangerous.

The Smith County Sheriff's Office is part of the North Texas Sheriff's Criminal Interdiction Unit, in cooperation with Collin, Grayson, Hunt, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise Counties. Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith says,

I am proud of the interagency cooperation in this multiagency task force. I am also proud of our Narcotics Unit who on short notice responded to this incident. This influx of deadly fentanyl into our state and communities has to be stopped."

According to the CDC, over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The drug can be deadly even in small doses, as small as a few grains of the powder on the end of a pencil can be lethal.

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