Border Patrol seized over 800lbs of fentanyl between ports of entry since October: source
Border Patrol agents have now seized more than 800 lbs of fentanyl between ports of entry this fiscal year, a federal source told Fox News – amid continued concerns about the lethal drug getting into the U.S.
A federal source told Fox that Border Patrol has seized over 800 lbs of fentanyl between the ports of entry since the beginning of the fiscal year, which began in October.
The 800 lbs include a recent bust in Southern California in which Border Patrol located 232 lbs smuggled in a vehicle during a traffic stop in San Clemente. 232 lbs is enough to kill 50 million Americans.
The drug, which is fatal in small doses, has been at the heart of the opioid crisis that has killed tens of thousands of Americans each year. The drug is 50-100 times stronger than morphine and is often cut with other drugs, meaning that the user doesn’t know they are ingesting fentanyl. The Drug Enforcement Administration says the 2.2 lbs represents half a million lethal doses.
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It is made primarily in Mexico using Chinese precursors, before being shipped across the land border. Seizures of the drug predominantly take place at ports of entry, but can also occur between the ports by Border Patrol.
In the same time frame, Customs and Border Protection reports that it has seized at least 12,000 lbs of fentanyl at the ports itself.
The debate over how to handle the fentanyl crisis has intensified with the ongoing migrant crisis at the southern border. Democrats and the Biden administration have presented the increase seizures as a positive as more of the drug is being apprehended while noting that the majority of those take place at the ports.
“Fentanyl is killing more than 70,000 Americans a year. Let’s launch a major surge to stop fentanyl production, sale, and trafficking, with more drug detection machines to inspect cargo and stop pills and powder at the border,” President Biden said at the State of the Union address, before calling for cooperation with couriers and increased trafficking penalties.
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Republicans, meanwhile, have pointed to the ongoing crisis and said the cartel control of parts of the border and the increased traffic to the border allows greater amounts of the drug to slip past overwhelmed agents.
On Tuesday, lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee heard from witnesses on the border crisis, including a mother who lost two sons to fentanyl. Again, the split between Republicans and Democrats on the issue was present.
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“The fact is Democrats are focused in investing on border staffing, infrastructure, and technology — especially at ports of entry where the vast majority of fentanyl is trafficked,” Democrat Ranking Member Bennie Thompson said. “Over 90% of fentanyl seizures take place at our ports of entry or border checkpoints and those responsible are overwhelmingly American citizens, not immigrants.”
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Republican Chairman Mark Green, meanwhile, showed the committee footage of drug cartel runners wearing camouflage and carpet shoes while carrying backpacks of drugs.
“They walk into the country, go to drop sites, load into vehicles and the drugs are shipped all over the country. The cartels are strategic. They neutralize CBP by having mass waves of coyote-paid people overwhelm the crossing sites, causing CBP to thin the rural areas to process the people at the crossing sites. Then, they pour across the border,” he said.
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