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Over 40,000 fentanyl pills seized during North Texas traffic stop


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    NORTH TEXAS (KTVT) — Over 40,000 fentanyl pills were seized during a traffic stop in Smith County last week, officials announced Sunday.

On Friday, Feb. 17, members of the North Texas Sheriff’s Criminal Interdiction Unit (NTXCIU)—a multi-agency initiative between several Texas counties—conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 20.

Officials said the driver, Erik Marin Islas Angeles, gave permission for a search of his vehicle, during which officers found “anomalies.”

Upon further investigation, they found nine pounds—or approximately 42,000 fentanyl pills—hidden in a false compartment.

Angeles was then taken into custody and is currently being held at the Smith County Sheriff’s Office in lieu of a $2 million bond.

The NTXCIU, formed in 2017, includes Collin, Grayson, Hunt, Parker, Rockwall, Smith, Tarrant and Wise Counties.

Fentanyl in North Texas

Days before Angeles’ arrest, on Feb. 10, the NTXCIU busted another man traveling with fentanyl.

In this case, the man—identified as Dallas resident Eduardo Reyes—was pulled over on U.S. 75 and Republic Drive in Plano and consented to a search of his vehicle.

During the search, officials said they found around 6,000 fentanyl pills and a handgun.

Reyes was taken to the Collin County Sheriff’s Office on a $402,500 bond.

On Feb. 15, United States Attorney Leigha Simonton announced the arrest of three people in connection to the fentanyl poisoning of dozens of Carrollton-Farmers Branch students and three fatal overdoses.

Jason Xavier Villanueva, 22, was charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

Villanueva allegedly worked through a juvenile dealer to supply fentanyl-laced pills to Luis Eduardo Navarrete, 21, and Magaly Mejia Cano, 29, who were both accused of peddling mostly blue tablets inscribed “M-30,” to juvenile dealers in Carrollton.

Navarrete and Cano were charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

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