Mexican police said it has uncovered a massive drugs haul that includes the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl including cocaine and heroin.
Officers pulled over a man driving a white SUV near Ensenada, north Mexico, on Thursday (25 January), initially because the vehicle did not have a front licence plate.
But they found the car had been stuffed with a major drugs shipment. The haul contained 100 pounds of fentanyl, 914 pounds of crystal meth, 88 pounds of cocaine and 18.5 pounds of heroin. The car was about 50 miles from the Mexican border with the US.
Fentanyl is a highly toxic painkiller roughly 50 times more powerful than heroin, and can lead to respiratory distress causing a heart attack when inhaled.
To put the toxicity and size of the haul into context, a seizure last year of 4.5 pounds of fentanyl in Columbus, Ohio, was said by prosecutors to be enough to potentially kill the entire population of the city of 860,000 people if it had become airborne.
Last August, Eighteen US SWAT officers were rushed to hospital after federal agents carried out a fentanyl drugs raid at a home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
During the 9 August drugs bust, acting US Attorney Soo Song said "a table where the drugs were being bagged was overturned, causing the suspected fentanyl to become airborne".
The officers were rushed to the University of Pittsburgh's UPMC Mercy for treatment, before being given an all-clear.
Pop star Prince was killed by an accidental overdose of fentanyl in April 2016 according to doctors. Also, a coroner's finding showed that fentanyl and oxycodone, another opioid was among a cocktail of drugs found in the system of rock star Tom Petty, who died last October.