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DPS troopers seize $1.7 million in narcotics near Marana

State police arrested two men on charges of transportation of an illegal drug for sale and seized $1.7 million worth of banned narcotics, following an Interstate 10 traffic stop near Marana. 

On Thursday, an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper pulled over a Ford pickup truck heading west near mile post 231 on Interstate 10, about a mile up the highway from Pinal Air Park.

During the traffic stop, the trooper discovered more than 34 pounds of fentanyl pills hidden in the vehicle. The driver, 30-year-old Mario Quinonez Osuna of Caruthers, California, was arrested on charges of transportation of narcotic drugs for sale.

As a result of this stop, troopers obtained a search warrant for a second vehicle, a Dodge pickup truck. Troopers discovered more than 37 additional pounds of fentanyl pills, 8 pounds of methamphetamine, 7 pounds of heroin, and 4.95 pounds of an unknown substance. 

The driver of the second vehicle, 27-year-old Kevin Valdez of New River, Arizona, was also arrested on charges of transportation of narcotic drugs for sale.

The estimated street value of the drugs seized from both trucks is over $1.7 million.

Fentanyl is an opioid developed to treat pain for cancer victims and is 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

"We have a new drug, and this one - in my opinion - is to an extent more insidious, because it's more subtle. A pill doesn't have the stigma that, say, a needle or a glass pipe has. It doesn't take a lot for somebody to put a pill in their mouth," said AZDPS Director Heston Silbert.

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Arizona Department of Public Safety

State Highway Patrol officers seized this stash following a traffic stop on Interstate 10.