A man was busted by local police for transporting enough Fentanyl to kill 25,000,000 people. He cooperated with federal agents and is now considered a fugitive.
According to The Denver Gazette, in July, a Colorado trooper stopped David Maldonado (27-year-old) west of Denver after he noticed him weaving between traffic. Court documents show that the trooper found 114 pounds of fentanyl powder hidden under Maldonado’s vehicle’s floorboard.
Maldonado was taken into custody and was allowed to continue to deliver drugs from California to South Bend, Indiana. In cooperation with the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration, he also had a tracking system attached to his vehicle. This tracking device would have allowed authorities to track down criminal traffickers.
While officials from the DEA declined to comment, a spokesperson for NBC News stated the 114-pounds fentanyl in law enforcement’s possession since the initial seizure.
The spokesperson said that the agency “relentlessly pursues individuals involved in trafficking seized Fentanyl”
However, Colorado State Patrol confirmed Maldonado escaped federal surveillance.
According to NBC, Master Trooper Gary Cutler said that DEA was working alongside them and had made a deal with the driver. He stated, “He ran on them and that was their debacle.”
Maria Haberfeld, a John Jay College of Criminal Justice Professor, is a former DEA consultant. She stated that authorities should have known they could use extra surveillance in order to catch potential cooperators that might not have been properly vetted.
Haberfeld said, “This is a fiasco of the DEA. ”
Frank Figliuzzi is a former FBI Assistant Director and NBC News National Security Contributor. According to him, “Federal agents were most likely conducting an internal investigation.”
Figliuzzi claimed that Colorado had a record-breaking amount of fentanyl. In fact, the amount is sufficient to kill Colorado. This is a massive failure.
The U.S. Marshals reported that Maldonado was wanted by the Colorado Violent Offender Task Force. Maldonado is wanted for two felonies, unlawful distribution, and introducing controlled substances greater than 225g in Colorado.
NBC reports on the fact that fentanyl-related death rates in Colorado increased from 81 deaths in 2017 to more than 900 between 2017 and 2020.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioid overdose deaths, mainly from fentanyl and other opioids, rose from 70,029 in 2020 to an estimated 80.816 by 2021.
The death toll from drug overdoses in America was 107,622, a nearly 15% increase from the 93,655 deaths in 2020.