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Border authorities seize $1.5 million in fentanyl during South Bay traffic stop

Posted at 2:19 PM, Apr 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-11 17:32:03-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — More than $1.5 million in fentanyl was seized during a traffic stop in the South Bay this week.

A 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor was stopped for a speeding violation on Wednesday at about 2:30 p.m. heading westbound on State route 905, according to San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO).

Border Patrol agents and SDSO Border Crime Suppression detectives searched the vehicle with a K-9 officer and discovered 20 kilograms of powdered fentanyl concealed in the vehicle. Powdered fentanyl is commonly used to produce fake pharmaceutical drugs, SDSO said.

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The seized narcotics have a street value of more than $1.5 million, according to SDSO.

SDSO said the driver of the car, identified as 24-year-old Marilu Escamilla, and her boyfriend, 36-year-old Fernando Camargo, were arrested and booked into San Diego County Jail for felony transportation of controlled substances and other related charges.

SDSO said seizures of fentanyl have become increasingly common in San Diego County. Authorities added they regularly seize counterfeit Oxycodone and Xanax pills, which contain fentanyl.

According to the county, fentanyl deaths spiked 155 percent from 33 in 2016 to 84 in 2017. Fentanyl is roughly 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.