The drug Fentanyl is a drug about 50 times stronger than Heroin and Officials say they’re seeing more of it coming into our area. Just last week, Authorities in Somerset County making what they say is one of the biggest busts in County history.
State Police say they found the Fentanyl during a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. After Jose Cortez Benitez and Remiro Hernandez were pulled over on Interstate 76 with more than 6 pounds of it in their vehicle. State Police say they conducted a traffic stop on Monday, November 21.
Somerset County Acting District Attorney Molly Metzgar saying: “During the course of that traffic stop, gained consent to search the vehicle where they uncovered three kilograms of Fentanyl, suspected Fentanyl in the vehicle.” Metzgar says three kilograms of Fentanyl is about 6.6 pounds. The drivers of the vehicle, Jose Cortez Benitez and Remiro Hernandez of New York and California, were both charged with possession with intent to deliver.
Metzgar saying: “There’s definitely been drug busts with smaller quantities of Fentanyl, this is definitely one of the largest in Somerset County.” Metzgar says Officers pulled the two over because they say the windows of their 2019 Ford Fusion were too tinted. Officials say they’ve seen an increase in Fenatyl coming to the area over the past five years.
PA Troop T Public Information Officer Matthew Johnstown saying: “It’s a drug were seeing more and more of anymore. Its just something that, you know, our Troopers on the Turnpike and those that are assisting the County Troops that are also working the Turnpike. This is something that they pay attention to, they’ve been trained to be indicators to know what to look for.”
Metzgar says this bust spans beyond Somerset County as Authorities work together to crack down on drug trafficking, adding: “Very, very thankful for Pennsylvania State Police and all Law Enforcement that conduct traffic stops everyday because it leads to busts like this.”
The Preliminary Hearing for Cortez Benitez and Hernandez is scheduled for Wednesday morning.