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Traffic stop results in seizure of 16 pounds of fentanyl

Roberts County fentanyl bust.jpg
Roberts County Sheriff's Office
Fentanyl seized during a traffic stop on the Lake Traverse reservation on Nov. 26, 2022.

Authorities said a traffic stop in the Lake Traverse reservation in northeast South Dakota resulted in a multi-million-dollar drug bust.

A Sisseton-Wahpeton tribal police officer working alongside a Roberts County Sheriff's Office deputy made the traffic stop early Saturday morning, according to news releases issued by both agencies.

That stop resulted in a search where officers found more than 16 pounds of fentanyl in the form of pills and powder.

Tribal police said the drugs have an estimated street value of roughly $2.3 million. The bust is the largest fentanyl seizure in South Dakota history, according to the Roberts County Sheriff's Office.

"This is an unprecedented seizure of illegal drugs by a Roberts County Deputy and Tribal Officer working in concert with each other," said Sheriff Tyler Appel. "It's an incredible win for law enforcement."

The two occupants of the vehicle are facing drug charges. The United State's Attorney's Office is prosecuting the case.

Josh Chilson is the news director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A Florence, S.D. native, Josh graduated with a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked as as a newspaper reporter and videographer, and most recently as managing editor for Dakota News Now. Josh is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.