Thousands of Pounds of Fentanyl Pour into the Country as Border Crisis Continues

Fentanyl seizures along the U.S. southern border have continued to rise sharply, with 9,400 pounds of the deadly drug being confiscated between October and December, a reported 241% increase from the previous year.

The synthetic opioid has become a significant problem for the country, with traffickers increasingly turning to it over other drugs. Fentanyl busts increased by 52% in December alone, while seizures of heroin and methamphetamine rose by only 1% and 4%, respectively.

According to the New York Post, most of these seizures occur at ports of entry, where individuals and vehicles are screened and inspected. However, traffickers constantly change their smuggling methods, making it difficult for law enforcement to keep up.

Lt. Chris Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Security stated, “Just based on the cartel activity — you’ve got the Juarez Cartel and then the Sinaloa [Cartel]. ”They pretty much control that whole western area of the border… from El Paso to Arizona. He continued, “For us to seize over 356 million lethal doses statewide [since March 2021], that’s significant because we don’t have the luxury of being at a port of entry and having x-ray machines.”

One recent large seizure in Eagle Pass, Texas, had an estimated street value of $173,040 and included more than seven pounds of fentanyl hidden inside the lining of an ice chest in a vehicle. Given that a lethal dose of the drug can be as little as 2 mg, the potential for harm is extraordinary.

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