In July, federal drug agents and prosecutors in Colorado held a news conference tout their work taking the drug off the street.
Brian Besser is the special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Denver Field Division. There is aggressive and tenacious police work being done and prosecution being done to save lives and bring people to justice.
He said that the seizure of 114 pounds of pure Fentanyl in June was enough to kill 25 million people. He said it was the largest bust of its kind.
Besser said that they are not napping.
It was a strange turn of phrase, given what had happened just after the record seizure of Fentanyl.
The man who was transporting the large amount of Fentanyl was not found by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, the suspect, David Maldonado, 27, had agreed to cooperate with federal agents and help them arrest the drug traffickers in SouthBend, Indiana, where he said the Fentanyl was headed. On the way to the deal, he lost the agents and the tracker they had placed on his car.
He is now considered a criminal.
At a time when drug traffickers are flooding the U.S. with Fentanyl, a synthetic opiate 50 times stronger than heroin, the case represents an embarrassment for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
A spokesman for the Colorado State Patrol gave a blunt account of the bungled operation that led to the discovery of the Fentanyl.
The driver of the vehicle had a deal with the Drug Enforcement Agency. After they worked the case he ran on them.
Maria "Maki" Haberfeld is a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
This is not a good thing for the Drug Enforcement Agency.
A spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration declined to speak to NBC News. An official from the Drug Enforcement Administration confirmed the seizure of 114 pounds of Fentanyl.
The drugs have been in law enforcement's possession for a long time. The individuals that were involved in the trafficking of the seized Fentanyl will be pursued by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
The number of overdose deaths in the U.S. increased for the first time last year. More than 100,000 fatal overdoses were reported in 2021.
Opioid is cheaper than other drugs and comes in the form of a white powder, which allows traffickers to mix it with cocaine and other drugs to stretch out their supply and increase profits. People who had no idea they were consuming drugs have died. Fentanyl is now being sought out by some drug users.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there have been more than 900 deaths of Fentanyl in the state in the last five years. There has been a spike in overdose deaths in Indiana.
What is it like? The director of health, outreach, promotion and education for the St. Joseph County Department of Health said it was all over.
The case started with a traffic stop. The application for an arrest warrant was filed by a state trooper.
The trooper saw a car weaving in and out of traffic on I 70 just west of Denver.
The driver was stopped by the trooper because he was jittery.
The driver told the trooper that he had been in the town of Grand Junction for a week. The trooper knew the story was a lie because he ran a check on the license plate prior to the stop and found that it had been scanned by a license plate reader in Southern California.
The trooper scanned the inside of the car and found that it was empty except for a couple of drinks, some snacks and a blanket.
Even though the trooper toldMaldonado he wasn't getting a ticket, he was still nervous.
The man said he just had to go to the bathroom. He initially refused to allow the trooper to search his car but relented because he wanted to return to the road.
He was allowed to use the restroom by the trooper. The trooper walked his drug sniffing dog around the vehicle while he was in the bathroom. The trooper searched the car after the dog signaled the presence of drugs.
Two traps were found in the floorboard. He found 48 packages of the drug when he pulled them out. They weighed 114 pounds in total.
He agreed to speak to the agent after he was arrested. He told the agent that he had picked up the drugs in California and had done a drug run in the past.
The Drug Enforcement Administration wanted to identify traffickers higher up in the criminal network in order to complete the delivery.
On the next day, he put a tracking device on his car. He removed the tracker from his car at some point, but it was not clear where he got there.
He is wanted on two felony charges, one for distribution of more than 200 grams of a controlled substance and another for introducing that substance into the state of Colorado.
According to the U.S. marshals, the Colorado Violent Offender Task Force is looking for Maldonado, who was described in the affidavit as being 6-foot-2 and weighing over 200 lbs.
Due to the sensitive nature of our investigation, we are not able to provide any additional information at this time.
Frank is a former FBI assistant director and an NBC News national security contributor.
There is enough Fentanyl to kill everyone in the state of Colorado. The person who was delivering the drugs is no longer in the picture. The fact that there are no other bad guys in custody is a large-scale failure.
According to the warrant application, he was born in West Liberty, Iowa, but has family in Mexico.
According to Max Preps, he was a member of the West Liberty High School football team.
He ran afoul of the law while he was still a teenager.
In August of last year, he was pulled over by police who found a marijuana pipe in his car and a handgun wrapped in a pillowcase. The paper reported that a search of his bedroom turned up more than 21 grams of marijuana in 23 bags.
The charges were later dropped.
Maldonado doesn't post on his Facebook accounts.
His last one was in March. A photo shows him standing on a rock holding a machete.
He commented on an older Facebook page in July 2020 about how few people had reacted to a new profile picture.
Not one of them is from a person who is close to me. If my family can't be here, what good is it?
NBC News reached out to a number of family members, but they either didn't reply or didn't say anything.
One family member said that they don't know anything aboutMaldonado and they don't want to bother him.
The article was first published on NBC News.