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Drug Enforcement Administration


Justin C. King, Special Agent in Charge

February 24, 2021

Contact: Emily Murray

Phone Number: (571) 387-3545

Cocaine and Fentanyl Seizures Rise in Iowa

OMAHA, Neb. – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigators took an estimated $2.8 million worth of methamphetamine and marijuana off the streets of Iowa in 2020 and reported an increase in cocaine and fentanyl seizures.

Agents from DEA offices in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Sioux City and the Quad Cities removed a combined 9 kilograms of fentanyl from communities in Iowa last year.  Fentanyl, which is 100 times more potent than morphine, has a small dosage unit at just under 2 milligrams, or the equivalent of a few grains of salt.  DEA’s 9 kilograms of fentanyl seized in Iowa last year carries enough lethal doses for four-and-a-half million users.

“Last year in Iowa, we seized more lethal doses of fentanyl than there are people within the state,” Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Justin C. King said. “We’ve seen a jump in fentanyl and counterfeit pills across our five state Division and we want to make people aware of the fact that pills purchased off of the street should be considered incredibly dangerous and potentially lethal. The makers of counterfeit pills are not careful or precise in their measurements. One pill may have 1 milligram of fentanyl, while another from the same batch may have 3 milligrams, or enough to kill a person. The only prescription medication people should be taking is one that comes directly from a pharmacy or licensed physician.”

In addition to fentanyl, cocaine seizures increased in Iowa with agents seizing 70 percent more than in 2019.  Cocaine availability continues to increase across the nation as coca cultivation and production in Colombia, the primary source for cocaine seized in the United States, remains high.

The DEA Omaha Division is a five state territory that includes Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota as well as counties along the western border of Illinois and Wisconsin.

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