BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Enough fentanyl to severely affect if not kill 5,000 people.
That's what Louisiana authorities intercepted Thursday on Interstate 20 just west of Haughton.
A state trooper was searching an SUV during a traffic stop at mile marker 31 when he found a compartment in the rear cargo area of eastbound vehicle.
He could see a plastic bag through an opening in the compartment, U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph's office reports.
The SUV then was taken to Louisiana State Police Troop G headquarters in Bossier City, where a more thorough search turned up 10 plastic bags.
Each contained 1 kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of fentanyl.
Two Texas men were arrested as a result of the seizure and later appeared before a federal judge in Shreveport for their initial hearing.
Brandon Montoya, 23, of Kaufman, and 21-year-old Felipe Rodriguez each is charged with possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute.
If convicted as charged, that could land them in prison for 10 years to life.
They also could be fined $10 million and ordered to serve at least five years on federal supervised release once released from prison, the U.S. attorney's office reports.
The two men told authorities that someone had approached them in Houston about picking up the drugs in California, according to the complaint filed during the hearing Thursday afternoon.
They were to be paid for the delivery once they arrived in Atlanta.
Now Montoya and Rodriguez will remain in custody at least until their next court appearance, a detention hearing set for Tuesday.
Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid.
The drug and its derivatives can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin or mucus membranes.
Only 2 grams - much less than an ounce - is fatal for most people.