It would take only 118 pounds of fentanyl to kill 25 million people.
That’s how much of the powerful opioid painkiller Nebraska State Trooper Sam Mortensen found in April when he stopped a truck marked “U.S. Mail” swerving onto the shoulder along Interstate 80.
Rolling up the trailer door revealed an empty hold. But just below a refrigeration unit, behind a plastic panel secured with mismatched bolts, Mortensen found 42 brick-shaped packages, weighing 54 kilograms, full of fentanyl. The drug is so potent that even a small amount — the equivalent of a few grains of salt — can...
For more stories, analysis and expertiseOR Request Trial