SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Roberts County deputy sheriff and a Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribal police officer worked together to make the largest Fentanyl bust in South Dakota history. 3.4 pounds of fentanyl powder and just over 12 pounds of fentanyl-laced pills.
“They observed a vehicle that had some indicators that tipped them off that there may be something going on. The two of them took action and ultimately led to a seizure of over 16 pounds of fentanyl,” said Roberts County Sheriff Tyler Appel.
The bust included 53,000 counterfeit Percocet laced with fentanyl. Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead is co-chairman of the National Sheriff’s Drug Enforcement committee. He says the drugs were probably made in China and smuggled across the border by a Mexican drug cartel. He says recent figures show 4 out of ten of these types of pills contain enough fentanyl to kill a person.
“I applaud the work of the Roberts County Deputy and his tribal partners that were able to make this apprehension and get these drugs off the street obviously many people would have died had they used those drugs,” said Milstead.
Sheriff Appel says a bust this large is kind of a double edged sword for his deputies.
“To go out and make a bust like that. They go out and work their butts off every day to see the fruits of your labor, but on the other edge of your sword, it makes you aware that this kind of poison is infiltrating our small rural communities,” said Appel.
Two people are in jail facing charges. Sheriff Appel says at this point he doesn’t think South Dakota was their final destination. There are indications the drugs were possibly headed for Northern Minnesota.