INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Over 650 pounds of fentanyl powder, fake pills and rainbow fentanyl are now off the street.
The Drug Enforcement Administration St. Louis Division — covering Missouri, Kansas and southern Illinois — said the amount is the largest quantity of fentanyl they’ve ever seized in a year.
Compared to last year, the amount seized is a 41% increase. It's also more than the last two years combined.
Getting more fentanyl off the street is something Jamie Fisher hopes to see after losing her daughter in June 2021 to fentanyl poisoning.
“She was a spitfire. She was our baby girl,” Fisher said of her late daughter Sami.
The Fisher family holds onto memories captured in photos, not only for themselves but for Sami’s 3-year-old son.
“Her son is going to grow up without his mother, and that’s really sad. But there’s so much of her in him,” Fisher said.
Sami struggled with her mental health and painkiller addiction.
The Fishers said someone brought Sami three pills to her Independence apartment, and she thought they were Percocet.
“It was just her and my grandson, so I know that she did not take those knowing that fentanyl was in there," Fisher said. "My grandson had makeup all over his face from trying to wake his mommy."
“To be encouraged, to let them know, like I say, we can’t enforce our way out of this,” Patterson-King said.
As a way to bring awareness to the fentanyl epidemic, Fisher has made t-shirts with a picture of her daughter and others who have been poisoned by the drug.
"I love my daughter. I don’t want her to rest in peace and then be forgotten about," Fisher said. "She needs to be out there saving lives. She would want that. I want that. That’s why you speak out."
Around the Kansas City area, billboards share a similar yet impactful message.
But one of the biggest messages from the DEA is that there is a risk for anyone who takes a pill that is not prescribed by their doctor.
The agency has resources to begin important conversations with children.