A Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP) trooper reportedly seized millions of dollars’ worth of suspected fentanyl during a traffic stop near Cheyenne last week, the agency announced Tuesday.
The stop was conducted on a 2021 Hyundai Kona, operated by Diego J. Aguilar-Valdovinos, that was observed traveling more than the posted speed limit on Interstate 80 east of Cheyenne, according to the WHP.
The trooper, suspicious of criminal activity after receiving inconsistent and implausible travel plans from Valdovinos, deployed his K-9 partner around the vehicle’s exterior for a free air sniff. The K-9 reportedly gave a positive alert to the presence of a controlled substance, per WHP.
During a subsequent search of the vehicle, WHP says, the trooper located approximately 24 pounds of suspected fentanyl with a street value of $150 million and placed Valdovinos under arrest for felony transportation, distribution, and possession of narcotics.
Fentanyl is an extremely potent and dangerous opioid that has become more and more prevalent across Wyoming in recent years. The drug can be lethal to users, law enforcement, and first responders in doses as small as two milligrams, per WHP, which means the amount seized by the trooper contained nearly 5.5 million fatal doses.
Due to health and safety concerns, the seized narcotics have been placed in a controlled environment pending laboratory testing, the WHP says.