OCTOBER 24, 2018 (WASHINGTON D.C.) — Nebraska State Trooper Sam Mortensen was honored today by President Donald Trump as part of an event to highlight the many efforts made around the nation to combat opioid abuse. The event, titled “A Year of Historic Action to Combat the Opioid Crisis,” was held this afternoon in the East Room of the White House in Washington D.C.
During the event, President Donald Trump singled out Trooper Mortensen for his role in making one of the largest fentanyl seizures in United States history earlier this year.
“In April, Trooper Mortensen seized 118 pounds of fentanyl, enough lethal doses to kill 26 million people,” said President Trump. “Is that even believable? Can you even imagine? Trooper Mortensen, that was a job well done.”
The President then invited Trooper Mortensen to the podium to speak, an honor Mortensen was not expecting. Mortensen took the opportunity to express his gratitude for the honor, and also to praise the efforts of law enforcement officers across the nation working tirelessly to keep their communities safe.
“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,” said Trooper Mortensen. “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 President also used the event as a venue to sign legislation recently passed by Congress. The bi-partisan bill addresses multiple facets of the opioid crisis and received support from all five members of Nebraska’s congressional delegation.
Since September of 2017, NSP has seized more than 176 pounds of fentanyl during traffic stops or investigative operations. According to DEA figures, that amount could kill nearly 39 million people. Troopers have also seized more than 40 pounds of heroin in 2018, the highest yearly figure in at least a decade, and more than 2,000 dosage units of illegally possessed prescription drugs.
On June 7th at about 7:30 PM Sergeant Wangler and another Officer responded to the residence located at 3410 16th Street in Columbus regarding an anonymous report that a wanted individual was at that location. In the course of the contact with the Suspect; 24 year old Jorje Robledo, a gunfight ensued. Initially, during the conflict, Robledo was armed with a handgun. As the situation developed, Robledo transitioned to a rifle. Both Wangler and Robledo were shot during the exchange and received multiple gunshot wounds.
Both Wangler and Robledo were initially taken to the Columbus Community Hospital and later to the University of Nebraska Medical Center by medical helicopter. Wangler is currently in stable condition, however he will require additional surgery relating to a wound in his neck. Robledo remains in critical condition.
Sergeant Wangler is a 19 year veteran of the Columbus Police. He is married and has two children.
We would like to extend our thanks to the Nebraska State Patrol, Platte County Sheriff's Department and the Omaha Police Department for the support they have offered in this matter.
The incident is being jointly investigated by the Columbus Police Department and Nebraska State Patrol.