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Giant stash of Fentanyl pills seized in Arizona traffic stop

Casa Grande Police Department

Two women were arrested last week near Casa Grande after police found half-a-million fentanyl pills during a speeding stop on Interstate 10. The pills were discovered concealed in collagen supplement bottles during a search that also turned up a handgun and a large amount of cash, according to a statement by Phoenix police.

Martha Lopez, 31, and Tania Luna Solis, 30, were arrested on suspicion of crimes including possession of a narcotic drugs for sale.

Authorities say two children in the vehicle were turned over to state child protection officials.

Over a two-month period in Arizona late last year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration working with state law enforcement made seizures of more than 3 million fentanyl pills, 99 pounds of fentanyl powder and 35 firearms. Forty people were arrested.

U.S. overdose deaths have been on the rise since the 1990s with overdoses involving opioid painkillers, heroin and — most recently — illicit fentanyl.

Last year in the U.S., overdoses involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids surpassed 71,000, up 23% from the year before. There also was a 23% increase in deaths involving cocaine and a 34% increase in deaths involving meth and other stimulants.