A truck driver from Arizona was found with more than a million dollars worth of Fentanyl in the cab of his truck during a traffic stop on Route 34 in Derby Wednesday morning.
Police said Derby officers stopped the truck at 10:52 a.m. and found 55 pounds of Fentanyl in the cab. The drugs are estimated to be worth about $1.5 million on the street.
Fentanyl is a strong synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
It has also been combined with heroin to create a lethal drug cocktail that police have blamed for several fatal overdoses. The number of deaths linked to Fentanyl have been increasing. There were 14 in 2012, according to the office of the chief medical examiner. In 2015, the number was up to 188 people and the projected number of Fentanyl deaths in 2016 is 446.
Police identified the driver as 47-year-old Erick Escalante, of Arizona.
Because of the amount of drugs found, local police turned the case over to the Drug Enforcement Administration New Haven office for possible federal prosecution.