PIERRE, S.D. — A 19-year-old South Dakota man is accused of possessing 20,000 fentanyl pills with intent to distribute them in a case that sent one officer exposed to the drug to the hospital.

Attorney General Marty Jackley said in a statement Wednesday the officer treated for exposure has been released from the hospital. Jackley says the street value of the fentanyl seized Tuesday in Chamberlain is $500,000.

The attorney general says Trevor Harden has been charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. It wasn’t immediately clear if Harden has a defense attorney to comment on his behalf.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug much more powerful than heroin. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has warned law enforcement nationwide about the dangers of improperly handling fentanyl and that even a small amount absorbed through the skin can be deadly.

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