Petersburg Press

Honored Trooper Mortensen is member of Leifeld family

Nebraska State Trooper Sam Mortensen and wife, Lacy.

Nebraska State Trooper Sam Mortensen was honored at the White House in Washington, DC, last week for his role in the nationwide battle to combat opioid addiction and abuse.
Mortensen has ties to Petersburg and Boone County. He is married to the former Lacy Leifeld, and Jim and Jennifer Leifeld are his father and mother-in-law.
During an event titled “A Year of Historic Action to Combat the Opioid Crisis” on Oct. 24 in the East Room of the White House, President Donald Trump honored Trooper Mortensen for his role in one of the largest seizures of fentanyl in United States history on Interstate 80 last April.
Trooper Mortensen initiated a traffic stop and investigation that yielded the seizure of 118 pounds of fentanyl, enough to kill 26 million people.
After announcing the honor, the President invited Trooper Mortensen to the podium to speak, an honor Mortensen was not expecting. Mortensen took the opportunity to express his gratitude, 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 who are doing what I did. They’re doing it day in and day out,” said Trooper Mortensen. “And there’s a lot of people who 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.”
President Trump 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, the Nebraska State Patrol 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.