Man sentenced to life in prison after largest fentanyl bust in SD history

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Edwin Giovanni Salinas, age 44, of El Salvador, has been sentenced to life in prison with no supervised release, following the largest fentanyl bust in South Dakota history.

Salinas, along with Berta Rosmelvi Gonzales, were pulled over during a traffic stop in northeast South Dakota. After authorities searched the vehicle, they found nearly 16 pounds of a mixture and substance containing fentanyl. The search also revealed more than 3.5 pounds and 50,000 pills containing fentanyl.

Bust from 11/26/2022/Courtesy Roberts County Sheriff’s Department

Just two milligrams of fentanyl can be deadly, depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Fentanyl, which is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, is now the number one killer of Americans under the age of 50.  More than 112,000 people have died from drug overdoses and fentanyl poisonings in the latest 12 month period ending in May.

Gonzales entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance in July.