The Cannon River Drug & Violent Offender Task Force provided this photo of fentanyl pills seized during a traffic stop on May 13

More than one and a half pounds of fentanyl pills were seized during a traffic stop in Faribault earlier this month. Christopher Payne and his girlfriend, Kaley Maria Wethern, both 31, were arrested on charges of 1st-degree drug crimes Friday, May 13.

The task force says the street value of the fentanyl is about $75,000.  Fentanyl pills sell for about $25 each. The traffic stop was initiated after the Cannon River Drug & Violent Offender Task Force received a number of tips that Payne was selling fentanyl.

Police say 1.6 pounds of blue and gray fentanyl pills were found in a backpack located in the vehicle.  A meth pipe and a loaded 9mm handgun were also found.  Investigators say Payne also admitted to driving with a canceled driver’s license.

A search warrant executed at the couple’s home the following day yielded a small amount of methamphetamine.  Agents also discovered a letter from Wethern that said people buying drugs from Payne might need Narcan, a medicine used to reverse the effects of an overdose.

Payne is also charged with a firearms violation.