AMARILLO, Texas – A former Mexican police officer smuggled enough fentanyl to kill 10 million people, according to federal prosecutors.
In May, Assmir Contreras-Martinez, 30, was arrested by Texas Department of Public Safety troopers in Oldham County during a traffic stop. On Thursday, a federal grand jury in Amarillo indicted Contreras-Martinez, who is charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
During the traffic stop, the trooper "noticed several criminal indicators" while speaking to Contreras-Martinez, according to court documents.
After getting consent to search the vehicle, the trooper discovered three deep concealment traps, containing 33 bundles of a white powdery substance.
The trooper initially suspected the drug was cocaine, but lab testing revealed that the substance was fentanyl.
Conteras-Martinez told investigators that he was paid $6,000 to transport the drugs. He also told them it was his second trip moving fentanyl, according to the documents.
Contreras-Martinez, who is an undocumented immigrant, told investigators he was "hard up for money," according to the documents. Prior to moving to the United States, Contreras-Martinez was a police officer in Cananea, Senora, Mexico.
Drug Enforcement Administration experts believe the amount of fentanyl seized by the authorities is "likely enough to kill more than 10 million people," according to a news release.
“Fentanyl is the number one threat causing our opioid epidemic in the United States,” said Clyde E. Shelley, Jr., DEA special agent in charge of the Dallas Field Division. “This seizure alone has potentially saved millions of lives.”
Contreras-Martinez remained in Randall County Jail on Friday.