In a situation where flying under the radar should have been the case, too many suspicious behaviors led to an arrest. Further investigation uncovered a possible record-breaking amount of drugs.

Captain Jason Gearman of the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office says the initial traffic stop happened almost two weeks ago near the Dell Rapids exit on Interstate 29 at 5:00 AM. A patrol sergeant followed up on a report of a vehicle driving erratically and followed an intuition.

“The individual’s story wasn’t straight with what he was actually doing. There were indicators of possible drug activity. Deputies were able to locate a hidden compartment in the vehicle.”

Investigators discovered eight pounds of heroin which would rank as one of the largest seizures of that drug in South Dakota. There were also two pounds of fentanyl and some marijuana also.

Gearman says there was extensive testing of the seized materials which was necessarily painstaking.

“You’ve got to do a lot of testing with the narcotics. With the dangers of fentanyl now, there’s different procedures that we have to use. That’s a large amount of fentanyl. The size of a grain of salt worth of fentanyl could kill somebody. To see an amount of fentanyl like this is alarming. I may be exaggerating, but if you had enough of it you could possibly kill everyone in the state of South Dakota.”

Generally, the fentanyl that law enforcement encounters is already mixed with heroin. Otherwise fentanyl would normally be found in smaller amounts such as a patch.

The 38-year old man who was arrested has a Minneapolis address and faces charges of distribution and possession of a controlled substance. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


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