CANADIAN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Officials say a traffic stop led to a major drug bust in Canadian County.
Shortly before 9 p.m. on Aug. 15, a deputy with the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office stopped a Toyota Camry on I-40 near Evans Rd. following an improper lane change.
Authorities say the driver was also traveling approximately 20 miles per hour below the speed limit. As a result, the deputy pulled the car over.
The deputy learned the driver was traveling in a rental vehicle from Phoenix to St. Louis with 29-year-old Demaury Mosea Haywood.
Officials say the deputy became suspicious after the driver and Haywood gave conflicting information about their trip.
The driver gave the deputy consent to search the vehicle, but Haywood denied consent.
At that point, the El Reno Police Department arrived at the scene with a K9 drug detector dog. The K9 signaled that drugs were present in the car.
Authorities found five plastic vacuum sealed bags containing approximately 60,000 fentanyl pills weighing 13.5 pounds.
“That seems like quite a bit of fentanyl, especially to be taken off our streets,” said Kristie Edelen, with the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information.
Edelen said fentanyl is a very powerful synthetic opioid.
“It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine,” said Edelen.
“In the wrong hands, it’s definitely a dangerous drug,” said Dr. Tyler Woolum with Integris Health.
Dr. Woolum said he sees fentanyl overdoses in the emergency room almost daily.
“Anywhere from 20 to 30 overdoses per week,” said the ER doctor.
That’s because people don’t know what they’re buying on the streets.
“People that are often trying to buy drugs, such as cocaine or heroin, typically the drugs are laced with fentanyl,” said Dr. Woolum.
Deputies also found a large stack of U.S. currency in the glove box.
“This is a very big seizure of fentanyl and I’m extremely pleased with my deputies’ vigilance in making sure we kept these drugs from making it to the streets. I’m also very appreciative of the professional assistance we were provided by the El Reno Police Department, and their drug detector dog,” said Chris West, Canadian County Sheriff.
When the driver and passenger were arrested, Haywood claimed possession of the drugs and said the driver was unaware that he had drugs in his bags.
Haywood was taken into custody and the driver was later released with the vehicle.
Officials say Haywood admitted that he had traveled to Arizona with the intent to purchase the fentanyl pills.
“I just want people to be aware this is a public health crisis,” said Dr. Woolum. “It’s all across the United States, it’s not unique to Oklahoma.”
He was arrested on a complaint of trafficking fentanyl.