A traffic stop in Uinta County early this year yielded such large amounts of fentanyl that it got the attention of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

Particularly, a DEA special agent writes that a January 14 traffic stop in Uinta County produced 654 grams of fentanyl.

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According to a complaint filed in Wyoming US District Court, Edras A. Pantoja-Villafranca and Luis Ramon Medina-Sauceda are charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. They both face between 10 years and life behind bars if convicted.

According to a criminal complaint, a sheriff's deputy in Uinta County stopped a black 2014 Kia Optima for traveling 89 mph in a 75 mph speed zone on Interstate 80. The deputy identified the driver as Pantoja-Villafranca and the passenger as Medina-Sauceda.

According to the complaint, the deputy found suspected marijuana.

Court documents further allege that the deputy found multiple powdery substances, one of which tested presumptively positive to be fentanyl.

The complaint further alleges that investigators obtained a warrant for both Pantoja-Villafranca and Medina-Sauceda's phones. On them, they located several text messages in which they discussed selling fentanyl.

What is Fentanyl? 

According to the DEA, fentanyl is "a potent synthetic opiod drug approved by the FDA for use (for pain relief) and as an anesthetic."

It's roughly 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.

The DEA says overdose fatalities from the drug surged from 2,666 in 2011 to 31,335 in 2018.

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