On Saturday at the Nogales Port of Entry in Arizona, border agents discovered about 1.6 million fentanyl tablets and other deadly substances stashed within metal boxes tucked under the floor and numerous trap doors of an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer.
In a tweet, Michael W. Humphries, the director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Nogales Port, said that “drugs including cocaine, heroin, and a huge volume of fentanyl tablets had been discovered and seized before entering the country from Mexico.”
The seizure on Saturday came only a few days after agents in Nogales stopped roughly 265,000 rainbow-colored fentanyl tablets that looked like candy and sidewalk chalk.
According to U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) authorities, the synthetic opioid, which is often used to treat patients with chronic pain or after surgery, is 100 times more potent than morphine. However, traffickers along the southern border have fanned a problem that officials have dubbed “an epidemic disguised by the pandemic” due to the quantity of fentanyl generated illegally and created in secret laboratories.
In a press conference held last year, DEA administrator Anne Milgram stated, “There is no doubt in my mind that most of the chemicals are coming from China, traveling into Mexico, and being mass produced into the drugs known as methamphetamine and fentanyl and increasingly made into the counterfeit pills that we are seeing on our streets.”
According to The Epoch Times, DEA agents confiscated over 9.5 million fake pills in 2021, 40% of which were deadly doses.
The CDC claims that synthetic opioids (such as fentanyl) are the main cause of overdose fatalities in the US.
Agents from the border patrol reported a 200% rise in fentanyl seizures last month. Local, state, and federal governments are being urged by American legislators to address the situation.
Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) was quoted in The Epoch Times as saying that the nation must band together to halt the flood of fentanyl crossing the border “without abusing law enforcement jurisdictional power, without violating sovereignty, and without exploiting rights.”
All of this must be accomplished while staying within the bounds of the law and the Constitution, according to Higgins. Fentanyl is entering the nation at historic rates, and there is no end in sight. We lost operational control of the southern border months ago.
Higgins blames the crisis on lax border controls, where some of the migrants are “most likely plugged into a criminal network,” allowing millions of the fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills to spread into “every nook and cranny of the country.” Higgins has expressed support for legislation that would make fentanyl trafficking punishable by life in prison.
At the start of the year, the measure was last referred to the Subcommittee on Health.