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Two illegal immigrants arrested in Michigan earlier this month after police found 20,000 fentanyl tablets in their car told officers they were transporting the drugs for a Mexican cartel.
The arrest took place on April 8 in Sterling Heights when police attempted to pull over a BMW with tinted windows, FOX2 Detroit reported, citing police.
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The driver refused to stop and led officers in a brief chase to a dead end, police said. The driver tried to flee on foot but was quickly arrested nearby.
Officers said they discovered 20,000 fentanyl pills disguised as Oxycontin prescription pills hidden in car compartments. Officers also found 500 grams of fentanyl in powder form.
The illegal drugs have an estimated street value of more than $350,000, according to authorities.
Police arrested the man and a female passenger, both from Mexico and illegally in the United States, the department said. They both allegedly told officers they were transporting the drugs for a Mexican drug cartel.
The amount of fentanyl seized could have killed thousands of people, police told the station.
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Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger than morphine and up to 50 times stronger than heroin. This can result in death or serious bodily harm.
Fentanyl is a major contributor to the opioid crisis in the United States, with synthetic opioids accounting for nearly 73% of all opioid-related deaths in 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.