By CBS13 Staff

MERCED (CBS13) — The California Highway Patrol said the largest fentanyl bust in San Joaquin Valley history was made this week in the Merced area.

Officers in the area pulled over a vehicle for speeding. The CHP said several factors were observed that led the officers to believe the driver and passenger were engaged in criminal activity. A K9 officer alerted his handler to the odor of drugs in the exterior of the vehicle.

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A search of the vehicle uncovered around 75 pounds of counterfeit oxycodone pills believed to contain fentanyl. Investigators say the estimated street value of the pills is approximately $3 million, larger than any fentanyl seizure in the valley ever before.

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The driver and passenger of the vehicle were both arrested and face charges related to the bust.

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The CHP says fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. Authorities say one kilogram of fentanyl can kill up to half a million people.