ROBERTS COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) — A Roberts County deputy and a Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribal Officer have made the largest fentanyl seizure in South Dakota history, according to a Facebook post by the Roberts County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO).
According to the post, the officers seized around 16.462 pounds of fentanyl and fentanyl-laced pills in a traffic stop, approximately 3.4 pounds of which was powder, with the remaining ~13 pounds made up of around 53,000 counterfeit pills.
Speaking on the phone with Roberts County Sheriff Tyler Appel, he told us the weights were approximate at this time, as an official weight could not be taken until the drugs had reached a lab, for safety reasons.
The post notes that the cost of these drugs seized exceeds $2 million in street value and led to the arrest of two individuals who are not being named due to the ongoing investigation.
The post also cites the DEA in saying that this amount of Fentanyl would have the potential of killing over 3,690,000 people, roughly 2,890,000 more than the population of South Dakota in the 2020 census.
The case has been referred to the United States Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
Sheriff Appel made the claim that this seizure is the largest in state history, saying that he has contacted the Attorney General’s office and that no larger seizure has been noted.
While Appel called this an unprecedented seizure in the post, he noted on the phone that what had once seemed to be a once in a lifetime find is becoming more and more likely, noting a 10 pound meth bust just months ago.
Appel clarified that there was no immediate indication of where the drugs were headed or that they were destined for any area of South Dakota. On the phone, he wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the working relationship with the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribal Police and their joint commitment to keeping drugs out of Roberts County.