The fentanyl problem in the United States has reached epic proportions. In May of 2018, on the outskirts of Haughton, LA, police uncovered a significant amount of fentanyl during a traffic stop on the I-20. The arrest took a considerable amount of the drug out of circulation. The two men were caught and sentenced this year, and the charges for transporting this type of narcotic are high.
Louisiana State Troopers Find Fentanyl
Felipe Rodriguez, 22, of McAllen, Texas, and Brandon Montoya, 24, of Kaufman, Texas, are now behind bars after getting caught transporting 10 kilograms of fentanyl. A Louisiana state trooper stopped an SUV vehicle and searched the car. After uncovering a partially hidden compartment, he glimpsed a mysterious plastic bag through a hole in the chamber. The car was immediately impounded and brought to a secure location to undergo a thorough search. The search uncovered ten bags of fentanyl containing one kilogram of the drug each.
Both men quickly admitted their role in transporting drugs. They mentioned someone hired them to travel from Texas to California to pick up the substances. Afterward, the men began the transport of the illegal cargo to Atlanta. Police caught up to them fairly quickly, less than a third into their journey.
Opioid Arrests in the US
The arrest takes a significant amount of fentanyl off the streets. Currently, the United States suffers from a severe heroin and opioid epidemic. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid upwards of 80 times more powerful than morphine. Often, amounts of fentanyl are mixed in with heroin. The addition of fentanyl drives up the potency of the heroin. The high strength level frequently results in overdose. Sadly, many of the overdoses are fatal.
Many drug arrests occur after routine traffic stops. Sometimes, drivers transporting drugs make moving violations in an attempt to speed up the delivery. The suspicious behavior of the driver or passengers after a stop may lead police to look for illicit cargo in a vehicle. The exact circumstances surrounding this stop and search, however, have not been revealed.
Criminal Charges for Transporting Drugs
The two men face ten years to life in prison on distribution charges. How their confession and cooperation with authorities will affect the charges against them remains to be seen. The charges against them also include at least 5 years of supervision after release and a $10 million fine.
The presence of fentanyl in the illegal drug trade won’t decline any time soon. The number of people addicted to opioids continues to fuel constant demand. The recent seizure of ten kilograms in Louisiana does cut down at least some of the critical supply of the drug.
Hiring a Criminal Lawyer
Transporting drugs is a serious crime. If you or a family member is arrested and accused of criminal activity, you must call in a lawyer. At the John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, we have defended Louisiana residents for over 30 years. Call (318) 777-1555 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Attorney Eric G. Johnson is eager to protect your rights at this difficult time.