Opioid Crisis Friday: US Attorney for Idaho announces one of the largest fentanyl busts in state history.

A Nampa woman was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for possessing 15 pounds of fentanyl with the intent to distribute.

by Jude Binkley

BOISE, Idaho — Officials are sounding the alarm on rising cases of fentanyl possessions in Idaho after one of the largest fentanyl seizures in state history. 

U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho Josh Hurwit on Thursday announced a Nampa woman was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for possessing, with the intent to distribute, 15 pounds of fentanyl. 

Wathana Insixiengmay was in possession of more than 30,000 fentanyl pills, and nearly eight pounds of fentanyl powder when she was arrested in June 2022.

Hurwit said the case is one of the largest – if not the largest – individual seizure of fentanyl in the Idaho history.

“From a law enforcement perspective, it shows that we have the capabilities to make these types of use huge seizures and send dealers away to prison for long periods of time – in this case, 12 years,” Hurwit said.

The multi-month investigation that led to the arrest was headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, which consists of officers from state and local law enforcement agencies. 

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. There were about 350 deaths attributed to opioid overdoses in Idaho in 2021.

“Unfortunately, those numbers are likely underreported for a variety of reasons,” Hurwit said.

Data from Get Healthy Idaho, a division of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, indicates 152 deaths were related to fentanyl overdose in 2021

Hurwit says the drug is extremely addictive, powerful, and lethal. Fentanyl is 100 times more powerful than morphine, and 50 times more powerful than heroin.

 “If you put a couple grains of salt on a pencil tip, for example – that’s a visual we use. That’s enough fentanyl to constitute a potentially lethal dose,” Hurwit said.

According to the DEA, “two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage.”   

Hurwit says 2023 will be the first year where they will prosecute more fentanyl cases than any other type of drug case.

“To the community it sends the unfortunate message that fentanyl is here. It’s prevalent. Unfortunately, it’s very cheap, it’s very easy to smuggle and to move,” Hurwit said. “Our fentanyl seizures are skyrocketing. The DEA so far in 2023 nationwide has seized enough fentanyl to kill every American – that’s just so far in 2023. Overall, we are responding to this crisis, but it is unfortunately a crisis.”

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Photo Credit: https://www.meet-an-inmate.com/ladies/wathana-90174.html


Published by VintageDava

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