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PLAINFIELD, Ind. — A routine traffic stop by a Plainfield police officer early on the morning of May 4 at the intersection of Perry Road and State Road 267 in Hendricks County netted 6.5 pounds of fentanyl, two guns and cash.

“Oh, it’s huge,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Gannon of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Indianapolis. “It’s all over central Indiana and we’re seizing thousands and thousands of pills including hundreds of thousands throughout the last couple years.”

Plainfield police have not released the name of the suspect arrested citing the ongoing criminal investigation.

Gannon said fentanyl is so lethal that the amount on the tip of a pencil is enough to initiate a fatal overdose.

“Each kilo of fentanyl seized would be enough potential fatal dosage units to kill 500,000 people,” said Gannon, “and just here alone in the Indianapolis area, we’ve seized enough fentanyl in a recent case which would have been enough to kill approximately three-and-a-half million people. We seized seven pounds not long ago in an investigation and there’s other times we seized fentanyl that had Chinese imprints on it.”

The DEA recently investigated a narcotics ring with ties back to Phoenix that resulted in 18 indictments for drug trafficking and money laundering.

“There was fentanyl in that investigation,” said Gannon, “and methamphetamine.”

While fentanyl found in Indiana typically originates in Mexico and is made with Chinese drug precursors, Gannon said more and more of the fatal drug is being manufactured locally.

“We know that the cartels are mass producing it in these makeshift labs and now what we’re seeing even here in the southern district of Indiana with drugs in central in southern Indiana, we’re seeing individuals who are trying to produce their own fentanyl pills and we’ve actually seized pill press machines related to fentanyl investigations that we’ve had.”

Recent overdose statistics indicate the devastating impact fentanyl has had on the streets of Indianapolis.

“Right here in Marion County for 2021 alone, the statistics for fatal drug overdoses was 826 deaths and fentanyl was 641 of those,” said Gannon. “For 2021, the lethal overdoses that were fentanyl-related was 641. In 2020 alone it was 640 drug overdose deaths, so fentanyl is a huge problem.”