President Trump, Trooper Mortensen

President Donald Trump applauds Nebraska State Trooper Sam Mortensen (left) during an event on the opioid crisis in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday.

A Nebraska State Trooper was honored Wednesday by President Donald Trump at the White House for his efforts in combating the opioid crisis.

Trooper Sam Mortensen was honored in the event, which had members of Congress and law enforcement in attendance.

Trump pledged on Wednesday to put an "extremely big dent" in the scourge of drug addiction in America by signing a bipartisan bill from Congress — and supported by all five members of Nebraska's congressional delegation — intended to attack the opioid crisis.

The legislation will add treatment options and get the U.S. Postal Service to screen overseas packages for a synthetic form of opioids called fentanyl, which is being shipped largely from China.

Closer to home, the Nebraska State Patrol has seized more than 176 pounds of fentanyl in the past year. In 2018 alone, more than 40 pounds of heroin and 2,000 dosage units of illegally possessed prescription drugs have been seized.

"In April, Trooper Mortensen seized 118 pounds of fentanyl, enough lethal doses to kill 26 million people," Trump said. "Is that even believable? Can you even imagine? Trooper Mortensen, that was a job well done."

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Mortensen expressed his thanks for the honor and praised the efforts across the country to fight the crisis.

"Every day, there is a lot of people out there that are doing what I did. They’re doing it day in and day out," Mortensen said. "And there's a lot of people that came before me that taught me how to do this job. On behalf of them, on behalf of myself, and on behalf of my family, thank you for having me here."

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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Fall semester newsroom intern at the Journal Star.

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