The Casa Grande Police Department arrested two women after approximately 500,000 fentanyl pills were found in an SUV pulled over for speeding on Interstate 10 in Arizona.
On Monday, May 21, a black SUV, was stopped for speeding. 31-year-old Martha Lopez and 30-year-old TaniaLuna Solis, both of Phoenix, were pulled over and K9 Deutz conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 10 near Casa Grande. Lopez was identified as the driver and Solis was the passenger. There were two juvenile passengers in the vehicle.
During the traffic stop, K9 Deutz and his handler discovered and seized anestimated 500,000 Fentanyl pills concealed in collagen supplement bottles. Additionally, one handgun and a large amount of U.S. currency was discovered.
Lopez and Solis were arrested and booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center. Several charges, to include Possession, Transportation, and Importation of Narcotic Drugs for Sale, Misconduct involving Weapons, and Child Endangerment will be forwarded to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office for review. The two juveniles were placed into the custody of the Department of Child Safety.
City of Casa Grande Police Chief Mark McCrory said “The transport and sale of drugs in our community affects us all. It is hard to quantify the number of lives this investigation has saved, but I am sure we are making a difference. Our Officers are combating this issue daily and I commend their efforts, especially knowing our K9 who was recently bitten by a rattlesnake is already back in full service.”
Over a two-month period in Arizona late last year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration working with Arizona law enforcement agencies have made seizures of more than 3 million fentanyl pills, 45 kilograms (99 pounds) of fentanyl powder and 35 firearms. Forty people have been arrested in connection with these drug seizures.
Last year, records show that overdoses involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids surpassed 71,000, up 23% from the year before. There also was a 23% increase in deaths involving cocaine and a 34% increase in deaths involving meth and other stimulants.