Within two weeks, Buckeye Police officers made two big drug busts.
Between the two, Buckeye police seized nearly 15,000 fentanyl pills, said Donna Rossi, spokeswoman for the Buckeye Police Department.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that has killed thousands.
According to the Center for Disease Control, “In 2017, more than 28,000 deaths involving synthetic opioids (other than methadone) occurred in the United States, which is more deaths than from any other type of opioid.”
Fentanyl is many times more powerful than heroin.
“The fact thousands of fentanyl pills, a powerful opioid, were intercepted by our officers could mean the difference between life and death for one of our citizens,” said Buckeye Police Chief Larry Hall.
“Every one of these seizure matters and I continue to be proud of the work our officers do every day to safeguard this community.”
Both of the recent Buckeye drug busts came after traffic stops.
The first seizure took place Jan. 11, when Buckeye Officer Michael Rhodes stopped a car in the area of MC 85 and Baseline Road for a traffic violation.
“The driver, Alexis Arroyo Zamora, 20, failed to produce identification or any other required documentation. Zamora also admitted to having a concealed handgun in the car on the driver’s side floorboard, which is illegal for someone under 21-years-old,” Rossi said.
Officers searched the vehicle and found 2,760 fentanyl pills, more than $7,000 in cash and several cell phones.
“Zamora admitted the drugs were his and the money a result of selling fentanyl pills at different locations around the city,” Rossi said.
Zamora, of Tonopah, was arrested for trafficking narcotics, possession of narcotics for sale, possession of dangerous drugs and misconduct involving weapons.
The second seizure took place Monday, Jan. 20, after Officer Johathan Calderon made a traffic stop near Southern Avenue and State Route 85.
The driver of the vehicle was Maximiliano Rodriguez, 30.
“During the traffic stop a large quantity of fentanyl ‘M30’ pills were located underneath the rear passenger seat,” Rossi said.
Most of the pills were found inside athletic socks.
Buckeye police detectives determined there were more than 12,000 pills, worth more than $120,000.
“Rodriguez admitted to having gone to Sonora, Mexico to visit family. He said while there, he was offered money to transport the pills to Phoenix,” Rossi said.
Rodriguez, of Phoenix, was arrested for transportation of narcotics for sale.
“These fentanyl ‘M30’ pills were destined for Valley streets. Instead, they were intercepted by heads-up police work by BPD officers,” said Rossi.