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Austin police arrested a man last Friday after allegedly finding more than 11 pounds of fentanyl hidden inside one of his car batteries during a traffic stop.
Luis Garduno Sanchez, 25, is charged with delivery of a controlled substance greater than 400 grams – a first-degree felony, according to an arrest affidavit.
Officers pulled over a white Chevy SUV on the service road of East U.S. Highway 290 on July 8 after it changed lanes without using a turn signal, the affidavit said.
Officers identified Sanchez as a passenger in the SUV. They said the driver appeared nervous while getting the driver’s information.
A K9 alerted officers to a “narcotic odor” during an inspection of the vehicle. Officers arrested Garduno Sanchez and the driver.
Upon further inspection of the vehicle, officers found a battery in the back of the vehicle. The officers removed a cover from the top and found large bundles, according to the arrest affidavit obtained by KXAN.
Investigators scanned the battery with an x-ray and opened the bundles to find “a white powdery substance” – material that was later tested positive for fentanyl, the affidavit said. Officers said the amount discovered was “the equivalent to over 5 million dosage units.”
The identity of the driver has not been released. It was not immediately clear whether Garduno Sanchez has retained an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid drug that has been blamed for a nationwide spike in overdose deaths, More than 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses over a 12-month period last year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with about two-thirds of those deaths linked to fentanyl and other synthetic drugs.