SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, AZ (February 23, 2023) - The Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) is reporting that on the morning of Monday, February 20, 2023, an Arizona State Trooper initiated a traffic stop on the driver of a commercial motor vehicle on Mariposa Road east of Interstate 19 in Nogales, Arizona.
During the commercial vehicle inspection, the trooper observed several indicators of criminal activity. A subsequent search of the commercial vehicle led to the discovery of the following concealed within the semi-trailer:
- Approximately 1,035 pounds of suspected Methamphetamine
- Approximately 173 pounds of suspected Fentanyl pills (about 784,000 pills)
- Approximately 21.75 pounds of suspected Cocaine
The driver, a 38-year-old male from Nogales, Sonora, was booked into the Santa Cruz County Detention Center on charges including:
- Possession and transportation of a Narcotic drug for sale
- Possession and transportation of a Dangerous drug for sale
The street value of the Methamphetamine seized is estimated at just over $1 million, while the estimated value for the Fentanyl seized is approximately $3.1 million. The estimated street value of the Cocaine is approximately $197,000.
This marked the second major drug seizure by Arizona State Troopers in a four-day period.
On Thursday, February 16, 2023, troopers seized 286 pounds of suspected Fentanyl pills – about 1,297,000 pills – following a one-vehicle crash on Interstate 10 in Sacaton. The driver of the vehicle involved was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. The estimated street value of the Fentanyl seized in that incident was approximately $5.1 million.
In total, troopers have stopped the flow of more than an estimated two million Fentanyl pills into Arizona communities within the past week.