Border Patrol intercepts large fentanyl load at Amado, Arizona Checkpoint

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Border Patrol agents on Sept. 17 seized more than 17 pounds of fentanyl at the Interstate 19 Immigration Checkpoint near Amado, AZ, 12 miles south of Green Valley.

Tucson Sector agents at the primary inspection lane encountered a 25-year-old woman driving a Chevrolet Trailblazer around 10:30 a.m. Following a trained canine’s alert, agents referred the vehicle to secondary inspection, where X-ray scans revealed anomalies within a medical respirator on the backseat. Agents found multiple packages of suspected fentanyl pills concealed inside it.

At left: Agents discovered fentanyl pills inside of a medical respirator.

The highly dangerous opioid pills have an approximate street value of $188,000, the Border Patrol said.

The U.S. citizen driver from Nogales, Arizona, was arrested and the fentanyl pills and vehicle seized. The case has since been taken over by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control.

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, who welcome assistance from the community.