New DEA division to crack down on opioids - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

New DEA division to crack down on opioids

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By: Channel 8 Eyewitness Newsroom
8@klkntv.com

Nebraska law enforcement is partnering with Federal officials to crack down on opioids in the state. 

Officials announced Thursday they're creating a new DEA division based out of Omaha. 

Officials say the use of synthetic opioids like Fentanyl have surpassed prescription opioids. 

The 23rd DEA field division will cover Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas. 

Authorities said in the past nine months nearly 300 pounds of Fentanyl has been sized in Nebraska. 

According to Governor Ricketts Nebraska is one of the least opioid affected states. 

Federal officials say there were 64,000 drug addictions deaths in 2016 and they think the deaths number from 2017 will be higher.

Press release from the United States Attorney Office about a seizure of 118 pounds of Fentanyl

United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced Thursday, the filing of criminal complaints against two New Jersey men as a result of a seizure of over 118 lbs of Fentanyl – an extremely potent and dangerous opioid.   The seizure of the fentanyl occurred during an April 26 traffic stop by Nebraska State Patrol Troopers along Interstate 80,  just outside of Kearney, NE.  The seizure of the foil wrapped Fentanyl was initially suspected to be cocaine. This fentanyl seizure is the largest ever in Nebraska, surpassing the seizure of  more than 36 lbs in October, 2017 in Omaha.  Fentanyl is an opioid drug, 40-50 times more potent than heroin.

The individuals arrested have been identified as Nelson Nicolas Nunez-Acosta, age 52, and Felipe Genao Minaya, age 47, both of Newark, New Jersey.  They are charged with knowingly and intentionally possessing with the intent to distribute fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance. In violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) and Title 21, United States Code Section 841(b)(1).  The penalty for these charges is 10 years to life.

“Heroin is one of the most potent and addictive drugs known to man—and fentanyl can be up to 50 times as powerful,” Attorney General Sessions said. “It is alarming but true that we are seeing more and more of this drug smuggled into this country and sold on our streets. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl killed more Americans than any other kind of drug in 2016; in response, the Department of Justice tripled our fentanyl prosecutions in 2017. In this case, our fabulous partners with the Nebraska State Patrol conducted the largest fentanyl seizure in Nebraska history, seizing 118 pounds of fentanyl. I have no doubt that these outstanding law enforcement officers have saved lives—and that this case will help us get closer to ending this unprecedented drug epidemic.”

“The diligence of these two Troopers is incredible.” said U.S. Attorney Kelly. “The interdiction of these opioids saved countless lives. This is a multi-faceted problem that we are addressing through enforcement, prevention and treatment. This is an exceptional example of the enforcement work making our streets safer.”

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