- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 9, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) - A recent drug bust in Hennepin County yielded a record amount of the powerful painkiller fentanyl - the same drug that Prince fatally overdosed on in April.

A Bloomington SWAT team raided a home Nov. 3 and seized nearly three-quarters of a gallon of the potent synthetic opioid, which authorities said had an estimated street value of $275,000. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office said it’s the largest amount ever confiscated in Minnesota.

Sheriff Rich Stanek said in a statement that the department will work to prevent overdose deaths from opioids such as fentanyl and heroin.

“If you want to deal this poison in Hennepin County, we have a place for you in jail,” the sheriff said.

Officers also found marijuana, illegal prescription drugs and several firearms.

There were 18 fentanyl overdose deaths in Hennepin County between January and September.

Fentanyl is a narcotic that is often used in hospitals for strong pain relief, and comes in a pill form, patch or a liquid injection. It is 50 times stronger than heroin, and experts say the contrast between a therapeutic dose and a deadly dose of the drug is minimal. Fentanyl is sold straight to unknowing buyers or is sometimes mixed with heroin.

The investigation led by the Hennepin County Violent Offenders Task Force, which also includes Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Golden Valley and Richfield is still ongoing.


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