Drug bust leads to seizure of more than 20 pounds of Fentanyl

Tennessee News

Drug agents with the 23rd Judicial Drug Task Force made a major seizure that could have saved thousands of lives.  

The drug confiscated was Fentanyl a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin.  

The Chief of pain medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Center told News 2 the amount confiscated could supply a hospital’s operating room for a year. 

The bust went down on June 20. That’s the day agents with the 23rd drug task force pulled over a car carrier.  

Inside a jeep, agents discovered a secret compartment. Inside the compartment, officers found 24 pounds of pure Fentanyl. 

“I’ve been doing this 20 years. I have never seen this much Fentanyl at one time in my career,” said a drug agent.  

Dr. David Edwards is the chief of pain medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Center.  

“We use fentanyl in micrograms. That is the amount a major hospital would order to staff their operating rooms for a good proportion of the year,” said Dr. Edwards.  

According to Dr. Edwards, 50 to 100 micrograms can cause some people to stop breathing. 

500 micrograms are usually lethal.  

24 pounds is more than 10 million micrograms, meaning that this one seizure may have prevented thousands of deaths. 

“Yeah, it’s scary. I can’t imagine they are trying medicine like this and being able to get the right dose for their high,” said Dr. Edwards. “It’s so risky, like playing Russian roulette with a gun. You can imagine how much is coming in if that is just one bust.” 

Drug agents told News 2 the Fentanyl is believed to have come from Mexico.  

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