Fentanyl Charge: What You Should Know About Seizures on I-80

One of the biggest drug threats facing Nebraska is fentanyl, one of the most potent, harmful drugs on the market. The Nebraska State Police have made some particularly large seizures of drugs on I-80 over the last few years, pulling in over 110 pounds of fentanyl in one stop in 2018. A fentanyl charge is likely to continue to be applied, as there seems to be no sight of fentanyl seizures slowing down, so it is something that the residents of Nebraska need to know about if they want to travel on these roads.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid – some 50-100 times more powerful than morphine, according to recent finds. It is synthetic and is commonly used in hospitals or for longer-term pain management at hospitals or through physical rehabilitation centers. Commonly available in the form of patches, it is also produced in other forms. Most recently, this powerful drug has been used to cut other drugs (such as cocaine) or as a direct substitute for heroin. Increasingly, it is also used in the manufacturing process for counterfeit Oxycodone pills. 

Fentanyl is particularly troublesome not only because there is a great risk of overdosing with it, but because drug dealers and traffickers may not even be aware that it may be an additive in their other drugs. Even people who have dealt with the same dealer for years may get sick or die due to accidental cross-contamination of the drugs with fentanyl and other illegal drugs.

It is important to know that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved fentanyl for limited use as both an anesthetic and analgesic, but it has been designated as a Schedule II narcotic per the United States Controlled Substances Act. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, making it dangerous to take even for those who have been prescribed it for a legitimate reason.

How Potent is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl has been in the news because, in its purest form, it can cause reactions that range from severe to deadly. The 118-pound fentanyl seizure in 2018 on I-80 had the potential to have killed more than 26 million people. To put into perspective, less than 2-million people live in Nebraska. 

The recent popularity of fentanyl has led to the rise of drug overdose deaths throughout the United States. 

Fentanyl Charge: Nebraska Laws

A fentanyl charge will be applied when the drug is found in someone’s possession. Fentanyl is a drug that falls under Nebraska’s Revised Statute 28-405, which says: “Any material, compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of the following substances having a potential for abuse associated with a depressant effect on the central nervous system, including their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers whenever the existence of such salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designations.”

Some of the other drugs that are included in this statute include:

  • Alphaprodine;
  • Anileridine;
  • Diphenoxylate;
  • Isomethadone;
  • Levomethorphan;
  • Levorphanol;
  • Methadone;
  • Dihydrocodeine.

Fentanyl Traffic Stops in Nebraska

Unless there is an active case or search for specific people, there aren’t that many traffic stops in Nebraska that focus on fentanyl. Often, the car will be pulled over for another reason altogether, such as driving on the shoulder, speeding, reckless driving, or some other common offense. Certainly, the police that pull them over do not anticipate finding fentanyl – their minds may be on marijuana or other drugs.

Police officers have to follow rules and regulations as they pertain to traffic stops. The 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees all citizens have freedom from unreasonable search and seizures – including during traffic stops. 

Have you been issued a fentanyl charge? A fentanyl possession charge is something you need to take seriously. A criminal defense attorney with experience in fighting traffic stops can work with you to determine whether or not the traffic stop and search was warranted. 

In court, the criminal attorney can argue the stop was illegal and all evidence (ex: the fentanyl) that was obtained during the illegal stop must be thrown out and, in most cases, the person will be let go and the case may be dismissed.

Do You Need A Drug Defense Attorney?

If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug crime, please contact an experienced drug defense attorney at Nebraska Interstate Drug Defense Lawyer. We stand at the ready to defend you against state or federal drug charges. Please contact us today at 844-545-3022.

The sooner that you can start working with a drug defense attorney, the better it will be. At Nebraska Interstate Drug Defense, we do not judge or lecture you. Instead, we work with our vast knowledge of Nebraska law and Omaha court systems to find a solution that will help you to get your life back on track.